The group of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) civil service aspirants, who were on an indefinite hunger strike since Monday at New Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar, were allegedly thrashed late night by the police. The civil services aspirants are demanding compensatory attempts, irrespective of age or category.
“It was at 2 am when the police team under Om Prakash Singh, SHO Timarpur Police station, started beating us and abusing the female protesters. There were no women constables in their team,” said Shikha Vatsa, a protestor.
“The police granted us permission on Monday morning and said that we can continue our hunger strike till January 2. Even the SHO had confirmed the same at evening, but suddenly a team of 15-20 policemen came around 2 am and without warning, started beating us,” said a protesting UPSC aspirant Pradeep Mishra.
However, the SHO Timarpur, Om Prakash Singh said all the allegations levelled are baseless. “The police denied the permission for the protest organised by the UPSC aspirants, and also handed over the letter citing the same around 4 pm. The protesters left the place gradually, and the police did not hit anyone,” said Singh.
The candidates have, however, are sitting continuing the indefinite hunger strike.
Several candidates were badly affected after the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) was introduced in UPSC prelims examination in 2011. According to experts and UPSC aspirants, the CSAT was introduced to favour students from English medium and engineering background.
The Nigvekar committee, which was appointed to examine the changes in the examination pattern, also observed CSAT exam pattern gave more advantage to the English aspirants and candidates from the science background. Following this, though the Commission changed the syllabus for mains in 2013, the CSAT was made qualifying only in 2015.
“After the implementation of CSAT in UPSC prelims, selection of students from regional languages and from humanities background has declined,” mentioned the report submitted by the Nigvekar committee. “In 2009, 42.2% of the total qualifying candidates were from Hindi medium background which was reduced to 15 per cent in 2011,” the report said.
Changes in UPSC civil service exam pattern over the years
2011: Optional paper was replaced by the introduction of CSAT paper (civil service aptitude test as GS paper-II) at the preliminary stage. No compensatory attempt was provided.
2012: Changes in main exam syllabus, making it more generic leading to changes in question pattern entirely.
2013: Overhauling of entire main examination by replacing one optional paper with two general studies paper and these changes were notified only through notification without giving adequate time to aspirants to cope up with it. No compensatory attempt was provided.
2014: In CSAT paper, marks of questions from English comprehension were excluded for gradation of merit and it was announced in the examination hall itself.
2015: CSAT (GS paper-II) was made qualifying only without considering it for merit in preliminary exam. It was again notified just 90 days before the exam.
– Inputs from Nigvekar committee report