Sluggish show by Hindi medium candidates continues even in Civil Services Examination 2015

The trend that gathered pace with Civil Services Examination 2011 after new-look Preliminary Examination came into force where saga of Hindi medium candidates receded dramatically in Preliminary Examination.

Now, five years have passed and with a glance at final results of CSE 2015, there is nothing constructive and the awful performance by Hindi Medium Candidates continues.

It is manifested in the figures extracted from latest UPSC Annual Reports that inadequate representation of Candidates with Hindi Medium continues even in Civil Services (Main) Examination 2014.

 By:           Read In Hindi

In the recent Civil Services Examination 2015 result, performance of Hindi medium candidates continues to be dismal and top rank with Hindi medium is Anuradha Pal (AIR 62; CSE 2015).

Highest Rank in Civil Services Examination 2015 with Hindi medium

As the trend suggests, once again in all probabilities, Hindi medium candidates are not able to perform in Preliminary Examination and this year seems no exception.

We will get the confirmation little late about Hindi medium candidates performance in the first stage of the Civil Services Examination 2015; but, as per the data available, the Hindi Medium Candidates once again fail to put up satisfactory show in Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2014 and that is evident from the number of candidates appeared with Hindi medium in Civil Services (Main) Examination 2014.

The data given below suggests the trend relating to number of candidates appeared in Civil Services (Main) Examination in last six years and the way Hindi medium candidates started losing grip on Preliminary Examination in 2010, gathered pace southwards with introduction of New-Look Preliminary Examination 2011 and surprise-surprise change in Main Examination pattern in 2013 saw further downward pressure.

A tilt in favour of English medium candidates is clearly evident while candidates with Hindi Medium don’t portray any promising picture and show a disappointingly low representation year after year.

What could be the reason?

Performance of Candidates with Hindi Medium was bad in Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2010; perhaps, many Hindi medium candidates were not able to adapt to the constantly innovative and shifting mode of UPSC and possibly they continue to prepare on traditional lines, which reflects clearly in their declining results.

But, it has turned for worse in Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2011 onwards; as a result, a completely changed complexion has emerged that shows the dominance of English medium.

An important observation in past few years is that with increasing number of applicants in Preliminary Examination, particularly engineers, doctors and candidates with higher professional degrees getting attracted towards ‘Civil Services’, Preliminary Examination has proved to be a major road-block for many Hindi medium candidates.

More than anything else, Hindi Medium Candidates are being outplaced by some highly talented candidates.

Representation of Hindi Medium Candidates in Civil Services (Main) Examination

The number of candidates writing Main Examination from CSE 2009 to CSE 2012 has more or less remained within a close range; and in last two years have jumped up significantly but, the scarce representation of Hindi Medium Candidates in Civil Services (Main) Examination  shows that majority of Hindi Medium Candidates fumbled at the first stage the – Preliminary Examination.

Civil Services Exam

Number of candidates

(Appeared in General Studies Paper I)


Medium of writing Examination

English Medium

Hindi Medium

Main Exam 2009


6270 (54.5%)

4861 (42.3%)

Main Exam 2010


7371 (62%)

4194 (35.4%)

After new Preliminary Examination Pattern

Main Exam 2011


9316 (83%)

1700 (15.1%)

Main Exam 2012


9961 (81.8%)

1976 (16.2%)

After new Main Examination Pattern

Main Exam 2013


12287 (87.1%)

1450 (10.3%)

Main Exam 2014


13733 (84.8%)

2165 (13.4%)

A cursory look at the table above indicates growth for the candidates having English as medium of writing examination over previous years’ figures whereas, participation of Hindi medium candidates, at Mains level, decreased by more or less similar number.

Still, New-Look Prelims proving to be a major obstacle for Hindi medium candidates?

The numbers say so. The change in Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination pattern in 2011 has impacted the fortunes of Hindi medium candidates and as the data show, a record low number of Hindi medium candidates were able to cross the first hurdle – Preliminary Examination.

In Preliminary Examination 2011, it was expected that since the pattern was new, common Hindi Medium Candidates found it difficult to understand and majority of Hindi medium candidates had deferred their plans to appear in Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2011 due to apprehensions about the new-look Prelims particularly about Paper II.

But, the stretching similar trend in next editions of Preliminary Examination confirms that as the competition gets stiffer, Hindi Medium Candidates have not been able to withstand the stress and have been at the receiving end.

On last two occasions we have seen some action from UPSC

Yes, as it was perceived that aptitude test introduced in Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination is the bone of contention, in CSE 2014 in Preliminary Examination General Studies Paper II, English Comprehension questions were not taken into account while working out cut-off and with CSE 2015 Preliminary Examination General Studies Paper II has been made qualifying.

Still, if Hindi medium candidates are not able to cross Preliminary Examination in large number, it is really a cause of worry.

Environment has improved for Hindi medium with some encouraging top-rank results; but, CSE 2015 result still paints a gloomy picture

It is not that easy to repair the damage that has been caused in past years but, definitely yes; presence of many Hindi Medium Candidates in top 100 successful candidates including Vandana (Rank 8, CSE 2012), Nishant Jain (AIR 13; CSE 2014) and now, Anuradha Pal (AIR 62; CSE 2015) and many others has been a morale booster.

But, dwindling number of candidates with Hindi medium clearly tells that majority of Hindi medium candidates miss the mark and still has to learn the way to survive at Preliminary Examination level.

I am not touching the role and accountability of coaching institutes imparting guidance in Hindi medium as in recent years lots of Hindi medium candidates have depended on these entities with practically not much to talk about as far as Hindi medium results are concerned.

Has the new-look Preliminary Examination impeded chances of success for Hindi Medium candidates?

I was optimistic at least about CSE 2015 but, if Hindi medium candidates are still not being able to make sense of dealing with it effectively, it is really strange.

Whether the new-look Preliminary Examination has impeded the chances of success for candidates with Hindi Medium or not has been a matter of debate; but, now, I feel there is a level playing field.

After all, on earlier occasions Hindi medium candidates have performed well in Prelims General Studies Paper. I hope they will regain the touch and better results can be expected in coming Prelims 2016.

Hindi medium candidates will have to acknowledge the importance of Preliminary Examination and how significant success at this stage is.

How to come out of this crisis ?

There is no quick fix solution; all I can say is that still, Civil Services examination is very much within the reach of Hindi medium candidates also.

This is the examination where the aspirant’s mettle is tested, it is only up to Hindi medium candidates to understand and regain the confidence.

I feel preparing traditional part of the syllabus is not at all a big problem, there is great need to liven up the dynamic part and make effort to update knowledge and awareness.

Practice is a must and ignoring practice can really cost you dearly in the real examination.

You will have to develop self-believe and will have to show courage to come out of this crisis.

It is not the time to follow the patterns of the past, better recognise the rules of the game and understand the related requirements at each stage of the examination and if the Hindi medium candidates focus attention on these issues, surely a better performance can be expected in coming Civil Services Examination 2016.

Last Update Sunday 10th July 2016     

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