After making significant changes in the basic format of the Civil Services (main) Examination (CSE), the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has brought changes in the Indian Forest Service (IFoS) test by introducing a component of preliminary entrance in it. However, the Commission won't conduct a separate preliminary exam for IFoS. Rather, it has made provision for a common preliminary test for both CSE and forest service exams. The preliminary test, which is to be held on May 26, will be a common screening entrance for short-listing candidates for their respective main exam. The main exam of both CSE and IFoS will be held on different dates in view of common aspirants for both. While CSE selects candidates for IAS, IPS, Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), Indian Information Service (IIS) and other elite central services, the IFoS exam is conducted separately to select officers exclusively for forest service. Earlier, IFoS exam did not have the preliminary test component like CSE. Since the preliminary exam is a subject-neutral test, which screens aspirants on basis of their aptitude, analytical skill and general knowledge, it won't change the basic character of the IFoS exam that is open for only science and engineering graduates. As per the changes notified by the UPSC earlier this week, the IFoS exam will comprise two stages: civil services (preliminary) examination (objective type) and main — written test and interview — for selection of candidates against available vacancies for the Service. "The preliminary examination will consist of two papers of objective type (multiple choice questions) and carry a maximum of 400 marks," said the notification. It added, "This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the preliminary examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the main examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit". The number of candidates, eligible to appear for the main exam, will be around 12-13 times of the total number of vacancies to be filled in a year. Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in preliminary exam will be eligible to appear for main entrance.
Source: The Times of India