AS civil service aspirants escalated their protest against the new pattern of Civil Services Aptitude Test in the UPSC examinations, which they believe gives an unfair advantage to English-speaking students, the NDA government on Friday said it will “not equate language with skill” and allow any “injustice” to students on the basis of language in the examinations. It said it has sought a report within a week from the three-member panel looking into the issue.
This assurance came from Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh in the Rajya Sabha after members expressed concern over the agitation of the UPSC aspirants who have been demanding cancellation of the examinations scheduled on August 24.
Members across the political spectrum urged the government to stop issuing of admit cards for the examinations, which started on Thursday and sparked the latest round of agitation in Delhi.
Singh said the issue of admit cards is “not linked” to the exam pattern and it will have no bearing on the government’s decision, as it was being done as per the UPSC schedule. “The government is not in favour of any injustice to students on the basis of language,” Singh told the House, adding he has asked the committee to hand over the report within a week.
Allaying apprehensions on the issue, Singh said, “The issue of admit cards is not in any way going to influence the decision to be taken by the government. The cards have not been issued by us, but by the UPSC which follows a calendar. The issue of admit cards, I can assure you, is not going to influence the further course of action,” he said.
“I assure you that within one week we have sought the report of the committee…Today I have again told the committee to give the report within one week. As the report comes, further action will follow,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the opposition created a ruckus in both Houses over the issue. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice during Question Hour following the opposition’s demand for a clarification by none other than the Prime Minister or the Leader of the House. The matter figured in the Lok Sabha too although it did not lead to any adjournment.
“It should not sound that this is our creation,” Jitendra Singh said, adding that the matter had come to light after a PIL and the UPA government took cognizance of the issue only after directions from a High Court judge in 2011. He said the government is aware of what is happening and is looking at the issue with all seriousness. “We should appeal to children that they should not put themselves in any physical trouble. We are looking at their problem with all seriousness,” he said.
This came as the protesting aspirants tried to march towards Parliament but continued…