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Syllabus: Prelims (GS CSAT)

CSAT from 2011

The Government of India has announced a new pattern of examination to sort out candidates for the Indian Civil Services main examination. The new pattern, to be called the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), will replace the existing preliminary examination. It will be conducted from the next year. The announcement was made by the Minister of State for personnel Prithvi Raj Chavan after the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh gave his approval for the introduction of CSAT.  

The proposal for CSAT was submitted last year to the PM’s office by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The CSAT will consist of two papers. Both the papers will be of objective type and will focus on the aptitude test for the civil services and the ethical and moral dimensions of decision-making. Unlike the existing preliminary examination, in CSAT both the papers will be common for all and will carry equal weightage. This is understood to be one of the main features of CSAT. In preliminary examination, one paper is common for all the examinee while the second paper is optional where they can choose any one of the given 23 subjects.

Expert committees and panels who had submitted their reports regarding the introduction of CSAT have laid more emphasis on the candidate’s aptitude. They believe that one need not to be a subject specialist to become a good civil servant. The Civil Services examination is carried out by the UPSC in three stages. From 2011 onwards, the first stage will be compromised of CSAT while the second and third stage will remain unchanged. Experts are also reviewing the second and third stages of the examination.

Changes in syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary Examination from 2011 in the scheme of Civil Services Examination

• As per the decision of Government of India, there shall be change in the syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary Examination from 2011 in the scheme of the Civil Services Examination.

• The Preliminary Examination shall now comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200 marks each and of two hours duration each. Detailed below is the new syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary Examination, which is brought to the notice of the prospective candidates intending to appear at the Civil Services Examination (CSE) in 2011 onwards:

Paper I - (200 marks) Duration: Two hours

• Current events of national and international importance

• History of India and Indian National Movement

• Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic geography of India and the World.

• Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

• Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

• General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization

• General Science

Paper II- (200 marks) Duration: Two hours

• Comprehension

• Interpersonal skills including communication skills;

• Logical reasoning and analytical ability

• Decision making and problem solving

• General mental ability

• Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc.Class X level)

• English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).

• Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level (last item in the Syllabus of Paper-II) will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.

• The questions will be of multiple choices, objective type.