Niti Aayog had prepared a report called Strategy for New India @75. The report was presented to the Government of India in November 2018. The report provided the guidelines for the planning for the better India. The report has one chapter dedicated to the Civil Services Reforms. Niti Aayog, in its report, includes a chapter for the “Civil Services Reforms”. The objective of the reforms, as mentioned in the report, is “To put in place a reformed system of recruitment, training and performance evaluation of the civil service to ensure more effective and efficient delivery of public services to achieve the development goals envisaged in New India 2022.”
Presenting the current scenario of the Civil Services Cadre in India, the report reiterated the implementation of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission recommendations regarding the civil service's recruitment and reforms. The report says that “Reforms in civil services are a continuous process and several initiatives have been taken in recent years by the present government. These include the introduction of multi-stakeholder feedback (MSF) performance evaluation, dispensing with interviews for lower level positions, the introduction of online mechanisms for appraisals and filing of various returns by employees, implementation of e-office, and strengthening training and merit-based postings.”
The report also recommended to reduce the number of existing Civil Services and pooling of all the new recruited officers in a common talent pool and assigning the post to the officers as per their potential and skills. The report also recommends to increase the lateral entry in the Civil Services.
The most important recommendation which could affect the recruitment in the Civil Services in India was “The upper age limit for the civil services should be brought down to 27 years or the general category in a phased manner by 2022-23. Service conditions for employees of autonomous bodies need to be regulated and harmonized.” It could have created a panic among the IAS aspirants because due to this recemmendation, all the veteran candidates would be appearing in the Civil Services Exam 2019 and in turn would increase the competition further.
Had the recommendation been accepted, it would have meant that the present age limit of 32 years for General Category would be reduced to 27 years by the year 2022-23 in a phased manner. This reduction in the age could have been done like the way depicted in the table:
These recommendations were sent to the Government of India, but it is not accepted by the government. So, we can say that the age limit for Civil Sevices Exam will remain unchanged.