UPSC score may no longer be enough to bag service; selection process to get tougher

UPSC score may no longer be enough to bag service; selection process to get tougher

UPSC or Union Public Service Commission as we know might be changed if a proposal to alter the format is accepted. In the proposed move, marks scored in the highly-competitive exams and cracking the interview might not be the only criteria to land the service candidates desire. The government is considering turning the 15-week long training course for new recruits at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) into an added criterion for allocating service and cadre.

The practice currently is to allot candidates who clear the UPSC exams the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and other services based on their ranks. Once that is done, the new recruits are sent to LBSNAA for training before they branch out into training programmes specific to their service.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the PMO now wants to change the process and allot services and cadres based on the performance in the Foundation Course. The report mentions that the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) sent letters to various ministries seeking their views. A DoPT official said that the discussion came up at a meeting at the PMO after which ministries were asked to send in their views.
If this is implemented, the service recruitment rules would have to be altered to suit the new format.
Currently the Foundation Course counts for 400 marks but only assists in ensuring seniority within the batch. It is a mix of activities ranging from public administration and political science to extracurricular activities like visiting villages, trekking and interaction with colleagues.
While some experts think that this is a welcome move, some are far from okay. Padam Vir Singh, former director of LBSNAA believes that the interview is not enough to judge the candidates properly. Another senior bureaucrat believes that this will only intensify the competition and make it a rat race, where everyone will compete for every single point in order to get their preferred cadre.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted his displeasure at this proposal. “The letter below reveals the PM’s plan to appoint officers of RSS’s choice into the Central Services, by manipulating the merit list using subjective criteria, instead of exam rankings,” he tweeted. He also posted the letter that reads, “Examine the feasibility of giving due weightage to the performance in the Foundation Course and making service allocation as well as cadre allocation to All India Service Officers based on the combined score obtained in the Civil Services Examination as well as in the Foundation Course.”




Schools can’t be substitute parents, Ofsted chief warns

Amanda Spielman
Amanda Spielman: schools ‘cannot be a panacea’ for all social ills. Photograph: Graeme Robertson/Guardian

Parents must not “abdicate their responsibility” by expecting schools to solve all the major problems children face, the chief inspector for schools will warn this week.

In a robust intervention attacking the increasing burdens placed on teachers, Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman will say schools “cannot be a panacea” for all social ills and will criticise some parents for neglecting some of the “most basic of parenting tasks”, such as toilet training.

While teachers “can play a role” in educating children about the dangers of knife crime and obesity, primary responsibility for these complex problems lies elsewhere, she will warn. When it comes to keeping to a healthy weight, she will say, “schools cannot take over the role of health professionals – and above all parents”.

In a speech marking the publication of her second annual Ofsted report, Spielman will say: “Our education and care services don’t exist in isolation from the local areas they serve. They are and should be a central part of our communities. But being part of a community means being very clear what your responsibilities are, and what issues, however worthy, can only be tackled beyond the school, college or nursery gates.”

Knife crime will be singled out as one of the most recent issues to place an additional burden on schools. “Most of our schools are safe, and we fully support measures, including zero-tolerance policies on the carrying of knives, to keep them that way,” Spielman will say. “But beyond that, while schools can play a role in educating young people about the danger of knives, they cannot be a panacea for this particular societal ill.

“Instead, preventing knife crime requires all local safeguarding partners to work together to protect children from harm while the relevant agencies tackle criminal activity and bring to justice youths and adults who cause harm to children.” Spielman said the obesity crisis was also “an issue which sits largely beyond the school gates”.

“Schools can and should teach children about the importance of healthy eating and exercise … their PE lessons should get them out of breath.

“But beyond that, schools cannot take over the role of health professionals – and above all parents. The answer to the obesity crisis, particularly among younger children, lies in the home, and parents should not abdicate their responsibility here.”

By the start of primary school, almost a quarter of children in England are overweight or obese, and the proportion rises to more than a third by the time they leave for secondary school. However, research by Ofsted has found no pattern to suggest that, on their own, interventions at school can be linked to a direct and measurable impact on weight.

Spielman will also chastise parents who allow their children to reach school without being toilet-trained. It comes amid growing evidence of children arriving at reception unable to use a toilet. “This is difficult for teachers, disruptive for other children and has a terrible social impact on the children affected,” she will say. “This is wrong. Toilet-training is the role of parents and carers, and should not be left to schools. Only in the most extreme cases should parents be excused from this most basic of parenting tasks.”

Spielman’s comments represent a blunt message to ministers keen to tackle topical issues by placing more responsibilities on schools even as they face cuts to resources in the face of austerity. Over the summer the Home Office issued lesson plans for children as young as 11 about the dangers of knife crime, which would involve them being told it is a “myth” that they will be safer with a weapon.

Plans were also announced to educate teachers on related slang.

Children’s minister Nadhim Zahawi said the lesson plans would “help illustrate the real impact of knife crime on young people’s lives” and that schools “up and down the country are taking advantage of them”. With evidence that the average age of knife crime victims is falling, some NHS doctors have called for school exit times to be staggered to reduce the chances of clashes.

There have been major concerns about teachers’ workloads and the impact on the numbers staying in the job. The Department for Education recently pledged to ease pressures on teachers in England after a report blamed an “audit culture” for causing stress among staff.


Aspiring Medico Turned Away From AIIMS MBBS Exam As Aadhar QR Code Couldn’t Be Scanned, Delhi HC Notice To Centre, AIIMS, UIDAI

As the results of AIIMS MBBS entrance examination is to be announced on June 18, the Delhi High Court has sought to know the stand of the Centre, AIIMS and the Unique Identification Authority of India on a petition filed by an aspiring medical studen…

Abhimanyu Bishnoi moved high court narrating how he was turned away from the examination centre in Gulbarga, Karnataka on May 25 with the mandatory admit card, photographs and his original Aadhaar card. To his shock, when he produced the Aadhar c… …

To his shock, when he produced the Aadhar card for verification at the gate of the examination centre, the staff engaged in the verification process told him that the QR Code on his card could not be scanned and that his Aadhar Card is not genuine….

He was not allowed to sit for the examination for which, he said, he had been preparing for over two years. In his petition filed through advocate Akshay Srivastava, Senior Associate at PSP Legal along with Advocate Prakhar Deep, Associate at Link L…

They also contended that the applicant was issued the admit card only after he had provided all his details including the Aadhar number in the online application. His counsel also informed the court that the QR Code of Aadhar card was being verified…

They have urged the court to quash the AIIMS Entrance Examination – 2018 and direct a fresh examination to be conducted within a reasonable period while also seeking a stay on the publication of final result cum merit list till the disposal of this P…

The counsel submitted that grave injustice would be caused to the petitioner if the results of the exam is declared without providing him another opportunity….