Govt plans to upgrade state syllabus

November 30, 2006, 12:00 am

Govt plans to upgrade state syllabus to match CBSE and ICSE/ISC to improve IAS results

The numbers are telling. Of 3.5 lakh students who took the civil services exam last year, only 89 students qualified for the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) category.

The bad news is that this low stat shows no signs of improving, according to a task force report prepared by Arun Bongirwar, former state chief secretary for the Ministry of Higher and Technical Education.

Between 2001 and 2005, the number of students qualifying for civil service from Maharashtra remained unchanged at an average of 400 per three lakh who appeared for the exam. The number of students who qualified for IAS was as low at 59 in 2001 and 87 in 2005. It becomes 400, considering other services such as the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), the Indian Police Services (IPS) and the Indian Revenue Services (IRS).

To improve these stats, the state plans to introduce civil service as a subject in the school curriculum. The 80-page report also stated that fear of failure and the English language has severely eroded students� ability to compete with counterparts from other states in the Union Public Services Examination (UPSC).

The report, which was presented to Minister for Higher and Technical Education Dilip Walse-Patil on Wednesday, also stated that Maharashtra State Board of Higher and Secondary Education should adopt the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate School of Education (ICSE) /Indian School of Certificate (ISC) in classes X and XII.

�The state�s role is to identity shortfalls and reach out to students by providing additional education infrastructure,� said Walse-Patil. �Various forums have voiced their concern on the state�s declining status in the civil services.�

Sanjay Ubale, state secretary of special projects, said that since rural students cite financial problems as a main reason behind their inability to pursue civil services, the state should make bank loans available to them. �We can recover the money in installments once they enter the services,� he said.

The state has also been advised to influence the attitudes of students, who think civil service is possible if only one masters English. The fact is one can take the exam in Marathi, Hindi or English.