Govt urges UPSC to postpone Civil Services prelim exam

The Minister said senior officials would meet the protesting students and urge them to end their hunger strike.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: July 15, 2014 4:48 pm
UPSC-l ABVP students during a protest against introduction of CSAT by the UPSC in New Delhi. (Source: AP)

Amid demands by Civil Service aspirants for scrapping the CSAT test, government on Tuesady urged the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to postpone the preliminary exam scheduled next month till there is clarity on the syllabus and exam pattern.

“We are also urging upon the UPSC and the committee that was constituted to look into the matter that not only report be constituted at the earliest, considering the urgency of the matter and the concern of all sections of the society… they should also consider postponing the date of the preliminary examination,” Union Minister Jitendra Singh told reporters outside Parliament.

The prelims entrance exam is scheduled to to be held on August 24.

On Monday, ABVP activists had staged protests outside the UPSC office demanding scrapping of Civil Services Aptitude Tests (CSAT), saying such a pattern was putting Hindi language aspirants at a disadvantage.

Singh, who is also Minister of State for Department of Personnel and Training and Prime Minister’s Office, said, “Till the report about the final conclusions in the matter is out, these young guys and girls would not be able to make out the kind of preparation they have to do for the exam.

“Therefore, till there is a clarity over the syllabus and exam pattern they should be given sufficient time. It is quite legitimate on their part that we are suggesting to concerned authorities to consider postponement of the preliminary examination of IAS (UPSC) exams,” he said.

A group of students also met Singh over the issue on Tuesday.

The Minister said senior officials would meet the protesting students and urge them to end their hunger strike.

“We were all deeply concerned when we found our students were resorting to hunger strike. We have succeeded in convincing them. They should not resort to such extreme measures,” he said.

“We would write to the UPSC and the committee that has been constituted to submit this report to expedite the process, address their concerns judiciously and sympathetically and not let them go with a feeling that they have been wronged on account of any bias towards any language.

There should be no injustice regarding the language and government does not support this,” Singh said.

RJD and Congress members had raised the issue during the Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected the notice for adjournment motion on the issue by RJD members Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav.

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  1. H
    Jul 18, 2014 at 3:16 pm
    It would be a shame if they se out CSAT exam, it has questions of basic english, and some logical thinking is required, what is the w point if we students cant use some analytic thinking, or some logic of this level, then how can we handle bigger situations which the job will require. and postponig the exams will only effect our preparation for mains, so the government should stop interfering with UPSC, and let UPSC do its work. We urban students do not agree to sing of CSAT or delay in exams
    1. D
      Jul 16, 2014 at 9:34 am
      agree with sanghamitra..its really embarring that a wud be bureaucrat without having minm. english knowledge,is dreaming to lead India,a multilingual country..if Hindi should be given emphasis,then for other 21 languages in d 8th schedule,what course should be taken?
      1. S
        Sundharesan Nair
        Jul 22, 2014 at 5:35 am
        The IAS exam controversy. I wish to add the following points:Selection to theCivil services is a prestigious process, the process of selecting a very small creamylayer of a few hundred people, to man the Civil Service, out of severallakhs of aspirants. The selection processcannot be a repeion of that for selecting Lower Divisions Clerks, just tosatisfy some pressure groups.Out of 11 writttenpapers, major change is made, in 2011, only in one paper, viz.,Preliminary Paper 2, which is designed totest the candidate’s, capacity for comprehension, general mental ability, interpersonalskill including communication skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability,decision making ability and ability for problem solving, and basic numeracy. Rest of the 10 written papers continue the same pattern of testing the candidate’s span and depth of knowledge, memory,and capacity for written expression. No sensible person can say the above special areas, included in, just one paper, should be totally discarded in selecting the potential inbents to theCivil Service, just to satisfy political pressures, of those who failed to win.The UPSC is aconsutional body. The government and the country must have trust in thesense of propriety of the Commission, in the discharge of their job. The Commission must have the freedom to act,as expected by the Consution, to satisfy the best interests of the nation. Thecommission cannot be expected to take theirroutine decisions,- like the politicalgovernment,- to suit the vested interests of the pressure groups. There areonly limited number of posts. The number of applicants runs to several lakhs.It is increasing year by year. There must be some generally acceptable elimination process, tosuit the needs of the position for whichthe selection is made. The selection process must provide for that. The Commissionmust have the freedom to decide policies and go ahead. Attempts to intimidate theCommission by political pressure groups shouldnot be encouraged by the government and the judicial system.I wonder, how manyof the people who join the controversy have gone through the revised examinationsystem and the question patterns in detail, other than listening to the complaintsof those who failed. In effect thereis considerable change only in one of the papers,( Preliminary paper 2 ), There are notmuch changes in the rest 10 writtenpapers. The new pattern of Preliminary paper 2, is suitable for theCivil Service posts and should continue.Any pressure to change it, is playingwith the prestige of the august body, like the UPSC. That must not be done, for cheap gains.Hope the governmentand the Three Member Committee appointed by them will not support the politicaltactics adopted by the pressure groups to intimidate the Commission. That willbe suicidal. The aspirants who take the examination should not have the powerto dictate terms what should be thenature of the questions, and the pattern of the examination!Can we allow political pressure groups to apply thesame tactics to persuade the functioningof the Courts, dictating terms how theytake decisions, and plan their internal procedures.?Hope the Government willnot do it, just for cheap political pority. Lest they should be creating a verydangerous precedent.R. Sundaresan Nair, FormerMinister (Kerala)
        1. R
          Jul 16, 2014 at 5:48 am
          CSAT was a good way to test the apude of students for civil services . Earlier only students who learnt by rote were at an advantage. If sped, the BJP is sure to face a backlash from students from urban India as well as students from the South ,West and North East India. Also ,undermining the autonomy of prestigious insutions like UPSC is dangerous in the long run.
          1. S
            Jul 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm
            I feel politicians shouldn’t interfere in the working of autonomous bodies like upsc. The questions raised by students unions doesn’t have any substance because only 9-12 questions are on English comprehension that too that are of the level of 10th cl.Postponing the exam will have effect on students who are preparing for the exam based on previous model for a period of year or more.
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