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OCS to follow UPSC pattern

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 14: The preliminary examination for the Odisha Civil Services will hence be held on the pattern of tests conducted by the Union Public Service Commission.

The decision was taken by the state cabinet here today. The state preliminary exams have two papers, one general studies (150 marks) and the other an optional subject (300 marks). But from now onwards both papers will be general studies papers, each of 200 marks.

The cabinet also decided that the government would create the office of state cooperative election commission to hold elections to cooperative bodies. The body would be modelled on the lines of the State Election Commission.

Two separate cadres for jail officials and teachers working under schools run by the SC and ST development department will also be created.

In another important development, an amendment to the Odisha Hindu Religious Endowment Act, 1951 has been moved in the Assembly to prevent properties belonging to religious institutions falling into private hands when the state needs them.

The amendment, brought in the form a bill, would make it mandatory that such religious properties are first offered to the state for purchase and only when the state refuses it should be offered to private buyers.

Since a large number of these properties are located on prime land, the government may need them more than others for the purpose of constructing roads or other public utilities. The bill is being piloted by urban development minister Raghunath Mohanty.