GJ REPORT JAMMU, DEC 31: In a major reform, the Government is going to adopt Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) pattern for Combined Competitive Examination of Jammu and Kashmir being conducted by the State Public Service Commission. The amendments in the relevant rules in this regard have already been vetted by the Law Department and final decision will be taken shortly. Sources in Public Service Commission told EX that while several States of the country have already adopted the UPSC pattern for their respective Combined Competitive Examinations the Jammu and Kashmir was faltering on this vital aspect despite being aware of the fact that due to different patterns the candidates of the State were finding it difficult to prepare and participate in both the examinations conveniently. Of late, all the concerned authorities like J&K Public Service Commission, the Law Department and the General Administration Department have found it appropriate to fall in line with the other States by adopting the UPSC pattern for Combined Competitive Examination commonly known as KAS Exam. A detailed exercise in this regard has already been conducted and even amendments required to be carried out in the J&K Combined Competitive Examination Rules have been worked out by the Public Service Commission in consultation with the Department of Law, sources said while disclosing that at present the proposed amendments are being thoroughly debated in the General Administration Department, which is the controlling authority for the KAS cadre. As per the existing Combined Competitive Examination Rules, there is Paper-II Essay in English with 150 marks, Paper-III General Studies with 300 marks, Paper-IV General Studies with 300 marks and Paper V, VI, VII and VIII each of 300 marks. Moreover, any two subjects are required to be selected from the list of optional subjects for the Main Examination. However, under the proposed amendments, which have already been vetted by the Department of Law and J&K Public Service Commission, there will be Paper-I Essay, Paper-II General Studies I, Paper-III General Studies II, Paper-IV General Studies III, Paper V General Studies IV. Moreover, there will be Paper VI Optional Subject Paper-I and Paper VII Optional Subject Paper-II (all having 250 marks). In this way, there will be four General Studies Papers on the pattern of IAS instead of only two General Studies Papers as per the existing practice. Moreover, there will be only one Optional Subject with two papers instead of two Optional Subjects as per the existing practice and all these will be counted for merit, sources elaborated while disclosing that there will be no change in Paper-I English, which is considered as qualifying paper. “For the first time in the history of J&K Combined Competitive Examination there will be negative marking on the pattern of UPSC and this is being done to ensure that only competent candidates sail through the examination”, sources said while disclosing that for every wrong answer 0.33 marks will be deducted. The existing rules simply state that each paper will be of two hours duration but under the proposed rules a provision is being kept for blind candidates and the candidates with loco-motor disability and cerebral palsy where dominant (writing) extremity is affected to the extent of slowing the performance of function. “The candidates with minimum of 40% impairment will be allowed an extra time of 20 minutes per hour for each paper”, sources informed. At present the Preliminary Examination consists of two papers-Paper-I General Studies of 150 marks and Paper-II (one subject to be selected from the list of optional subjects of 300 marks) thereby making a total of 450 marks. However, under the proposed amendments the Preliminary Examination will comprise of two papers of 200 marks each thereby making a total of 400 marks. There will be no optional subject and both will be of General Studies. “The General Studies Paper-II of the Combined Competitive Preliminary Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%”, sources disclosed. “Due to these amendments in the Combined Competitive Examination Rules the candidates of J&K will not face the hassle of preparing for KAS Examination and UPSC Examination separately”, sources said, adding “by following one track vis-à-vis coaching they will be in a position to appear in J&K Combined Competitive Examination as well as those of the Union Public Service Commission”. According to the sources, the J&K PSC will conduct KAS Examination by strictly keeping in mind the calendar of UPSC so that candidates of the State are not deprived of the opportunity of appearing in the UPSC Examination.