UPSC row: Civil service aspirants feel cheated

New Delhi, Aug 4 :

The civil service aspirants feel “cheated” by the government’s decision Monday to exclude English language comprehension marks from the CSAT paper, while preparing the merit list for the civil services examination.
Earlier, Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh told parliament the English language comprehension skills should not be included for gradation or merit in the civil services examinations.

The students who have been protesting since long, however, said their demands of scrapping the Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT) exam, which was introduced in 2011, and postponing the Aug 24 prelims exam remain unfulfilled.

“We were assured that the CSAT will be done away with, but the minister’s statement talks nothing about it. Instead, they have cheated us by deciding to not consider the marks for English comprehension,” Subhankar Vats, a civil service aspirant from Jharkhand, told IANS.

Vats explained that the comprehension, which is a part of Paper II of preliminary examination, consists of four passages, out of which two are easy, with no translation while the other two are difficult.

“The passages the government has decided to not consider are the easy ones in which most of us score,” added Vats.

The preliminary examination comprises two papers – General Studies (Paper I) and CSAT (Paper II), both carrying 200 marks each.

Ashish, another aspirant, expressed unhappiness over the government allowing another attempt in 2015 only to those candidates who wrote the exam in 2011.

“The government has said that those who appeared in 2011 would be allowed another attempt next year, but what about us? How will we take exams on Aug 24 when for the last few months we have been on the streets,” Ashish told IANS.

Echoing similar feelings, another aspirant, Tera Varethan, said: “The decision puts the students at a loss.”

According to Ashish, their fight was never about languages.

“Though CSAT is called an aptitude test, there are only six aptitude questions in it and the maximum questions are from mathematics and reasoning. So that puts students with non-science background at a disadvantage,” he said.

As soon as the government announced its stand, the students resumed their protest and said they will intensify it till their demands are met.

The government statement Monday came following the report by a committee headed by Arvind Verma, which submitted its findings last week.


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