Out of 812 candidates who were recommended for central Civil Services on the basis of the 2018 test, as many as 485 candidates who had chosen Hindi as mother tongue were selected, the government told on Thursday.

During the 2017 exam, 1,056 candidates were recommended for different services. Of them, 633 had chosen Hindi as their mother tongue, according to data given by Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

The Civil Services examination is conducted annually by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The exam is conducted in three stages- preliminary, main and interview.

Further, the data said that in 2016, out of the 1209 candidates selected in the Civil Services exam, 664 had Hindi as their mother tongue. In 2015 examination out of 1164 candidates, 643 had claimed Hindi as their mother tongue. While in 2014 test, 743 such candidates were selected out of 1363.

“The government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply and participate in Civil Services. Female candidates are exempted from payment of fee for Civil Services examination,” the minister said.

Further, relaxation of age up to 35 years (up to 40 years for members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes) is given to widows, divorced women and women judicially separated from their husbands who are not re-married for employment to Group ”C” and erstwhile Group ”D” posts that already exist, Mr Singh said.

Similar relaxation also exists for Group ‘A” and Group ‘B” posts except where recruitment is made through open competitive examination, he said.

“It is, however, stated that these instructions are applicable only to central government civilian employees holding civil posts,” the minister said.

A senior Personnel Ministry official said a significant number of people with Hindi as the mother tongue have been selected through the Civil Services examination which is an encouraging trend.

“It is an encouraging trend to see that significant number of people with Hindi as their mother tongue are getting selected for civil services through the civil services examination,” he said.

(With inputs from PTI)