The Private Agent Test (CSE, also known as the IAS Test) in India is considered one of the most collaborative tests in the world. On February 14th, India’s Joint Private Service Commission (UPSC) privately issued a 2024 civil service test request, requesting results on March 5th. The preliminary test will stop at the end of May, and there are over 1000 vacant private service positions waiting for candidates to cooperate. This means that a new round of severe promotion is about to begin.

The annual Indian Private Agent Test is a nationwide collaborative test conducted by UPSC to hire senior private agents from Indian authorities. Normally, the test is divided into three stages: preliminary, main, and oral. This means that CSEs who refuse to register at the beginning of the year often have to wait until the second year to finally achieve promotion. Those who have passed the three stages of CSE will join the private affairs department in India and become officials in various departments such as Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police Services (IPS), Indian Communication Services (IFS), and Indian Taxation Services (IRS).

The initial stage of CSE can attract over one million candidates almost every year, but less than 1% of them can potentially participate in the second stage of the oral examination. According to The Times of India, approximately 1.3 million candidates participated in the preliminary exam in 2023 alone, and only over 14600 candidates were ultimately selected to participate in the main test. The Economic Times reported that in 2019, over 800000 students participated in the test. In 2020, due to the pandemic, this number rose to about 420000- although the number of people registering for the test far exceeded one million. In 2021, about 970000 candidates participated in the preliminary examination, about 10000 qualified candidates participated in the main test, and in the end, only 1800 people participated in the key stage of the oral examination, with 685 candidates passing. At the same time, according to different types of candidates, CSE also has age limits. For example, ordinary candidates can participate in 6 tests before the age of 32, which makes many people spend several years, or even more than a decade, to stop testing.

On January 7, 2022, local time in New Delhi, India, a private service officer test will be held according to the original plan on January 7, 8, 9, 15, and 16. (Image source: Visual China)

How does an Indian candidate prepare for CSE? A 2023 report detailed the preparation time of a student named Gamini Singla: in the past three years, she has bid farewell to her enemies, did not go on vacation, and did not join family gatherings. Instead, in her home near the northern Indian city of Chandigarh, she woke up at dawn, studied lecture materials, and studied for up to 10 hours a day. She memorizes by rote, performs mock tests, browses newspapers and self-help books, and watches videos of successful candidates on YouTube. “Loneliness will accompany you, and this loneliness can help you develop,” Singla said. The private exam also led to the joint efforts of the Singla family – Singla’s father reads at least three newspapers a day and marks important news, as “newspapers make up 80% of the exam preparation”.

In 2021, when Singla joined the test, the success rate of candidates was the lowest in the past eight years. In the end, Singla and two other women ranked in the top three in the test and were qualified to become members of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) elite, with the power to decide which state to rest in. Singla stated that becoming a private servant gave her an excellent opportunity to truly transform the world and influence the lives of many people.

If Singla’s middle-class family makes her face less resistance, then CSE has invented a fixed path for Indian candidates from impoverished families to go to the Tao, which is the Tao. Private servants have great absorption power for those who go to small towns.

Sociologist Sanjay Srivastava from the School of Asian and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London stated in a refusal to interview that in India, where there is a lack of good private rest and authorities occupy overwhelming positions in their daily lives, the rest of private workers is a “coveted and powerful” rest. At the same time, what attracts people to apply also includes a series of benefits that the authorities will bring with them, such as savings, housing subsidies, and vacation benefits.

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