IAS, IPS, IFS cadres to be allotted on basis of foundation course along with UPSC marks

DoPT's internal communication reveals that 10% weightage will now be given to the selected candidates’ performance in the mandatory combined foundation course.

A classroom at LBSNAA, Mussoorie | Representational photo | informatics.nic.in
A classroom at LBSNAA, Mussoorie | Representational photo | informatics.nic.in

New Delhi: Ranking in the civil services exam will not be the sole criteria anymore for allotting of services to candidates selected by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the Modi government has decided.

Instead, 10 per cent weightage will now be given to the performance of selected candidates in the mandatory combined foundation course.

According to an internal communication of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) dated 9 July, and accessed by ThePrint, starting this year, the services allotted to candidates would be subject to change depending on their performance in the foundation course.

A meeting was held with all Cadre Controlling Authorities on 25 June at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) regarding a combined foundation course for all civil services, the communication revealed.

The services include the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Foreign Service and the Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.

In June, ThePrint had reported that the DoPT had pitched the idea of a combined foundation course in its 100-day programme to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Not a new idea

The idea of a unified foundation course was first proposed by the PMO last year. It was suggested that candidates selected by the UPSC would be allotted services not on the basis of their rankings in the UPSC exam, but on the basis of a unified foundation course.

The proposal, however, was put on the backburner after the Modi government faced enormous backlash for attempting to tweak the recruitment of civil servants, and introducing what was seen as a high degree of subjectivity in the process of service allocation.

The latest government move to give weightage to the unified foundation course comes in this backdrop.

While around 1,000-1,200 candidates are selected by UPSC through the civil service exam every year, they all undergo trainings in different academies depending on their services. But the Modi government has thrown its weight behind the idea of a unfied foundation course where civil service recruits undergo a common training programme irrespective of their services.

The foundation course is an introductory course for freshly recruited civil servants — IAS, IPS and IFS, among others — in India. While the course is mandatory for all, it has so far been a formality since probationers are allotted services and cadre on the basis of their ranking in the UPSC, way before the course begins.

According to the 9 July DoPT communication, if a candidate’s service undergoes any change after their performance in the foundation course, they would not be required to undergo the course again. Further, the common course will be conducted from August this year.

Also read: UPSC wants govt to remove mandatory aptitude test from civil service exam