In a relief to thousands of civil service aspirants, candidates for the Union Public Service Commission main examination can now give their personality test interview in a language different from the one they choose for the written paper. English will no longer be the mandatory medium for the interview, even if the examination is written in that language.
In a nation where joining the civil services is still considered a big deal, more than 4.8 lakh students appeared for the preliminary UPSC examination this year. The results are expected around August after which the main examination is likely to be held at the year end, in which the candidates' list is expected to be whittled down to approximately 13,000. The list of vacancies would be a fraction at about 1,000 going by the 2010 figures where only the most deserving will get selected. But starting next year, the personality test interviews will be much easier and a relaxed affair. They can even give the test in their mother tongue, if it figures in one of the languages in the eighth schedule.