With just a week to go for the August 24 Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, the government on Saturday made it clear that candidates appearing for the exam “do not have to answer the questions” relating to the contentious English Language Comprehension Skills in Paper II of the exam and that “these questions will not be evaluated”.
The government clarified that even if the candidates attempt the questions in the section on English Language Comprehension Skills, it would not count towards gradation or merit. This follows the NDA government’s “opinion” expressed in Parliament recently that marks for the English Language Comprehension Skills should “not be included for gradation or merit” in the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT).
A series of recent protests had alleged that this particular section of the exam was loaded against aspirants from a Hindi-background forcing the government to intervene.
“The Union Government has decided that for the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2014 to be held on 24th August, this section on English Language Comprehension Skills (Class X Level) will not count for gradation or merit,” the Department of Personnel & Training said.
The DoPT further said that Paper-II would contain a section on English Language Comprehension Skills (Class X Level) and “candidates must therefore note that they do not have to answer the questions on this English Language Comprehension Skills (Class X Level) section” since “these questions will not be evaluated”.
The government also clarified that the duration of the Paper II would remain two hours and candidates can utilize the entire time in answering all questions except those in the Section containing English Language Comprehension Skills.
Paper II of the CSE (Preliminary) is of 200 marks and 2 hours duration. It contains a section on English Language Comprehension Skills (Class X Level). It contains some questions based on a few paragraphs in English.
The DoPT further stated that the maximum marks for Paper II would be “200 minus the marks earmarked for the English Language Comprehension Skills (Class X Level)”.
BJP leaders Prabhat Jha, Shahnawaz Hussain and Krishnapal Gujar also addressed a number of rallies.