English marks in CSAT-II will not be included for gradation or merit and 2011 candidates may get a second chance to appear for the test next year, government announced in Lok Sabha today seeking to defuse the UPSC row that has seen the aspirants on warpath.
"Government is of the opinion that in the Civil Services Preliminary examination, Paper-II, the marks of the question section on 'English Language comprehension skills' should not be included for gradation or merit," MoS Personnel Jitendra Singh said seeking to mollify the agitating candidates.
In a brief statement Singh said, "Candidates, who appeared in Civil Services Examination 2011, may be given one more attempt in 2015."
Parliament has witnessed repeated uproar and several adjournments in the past few days over the issue.
Immediately after the statement, B Mahtab (BJD) and Dharmendra Yadav (SP) stood up demanding clarification whether Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) has been done away with.
However, the Minister stood up to say that he has said whatever he wanted to. Earlier, opposition had demanded in the Rajya Sabha a definite time-frame from government to resolve the issue and served a privilege notice, forcing adjournment of the House.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Sharad Yadav (JD-U) accused the government of "going back on its promise" of resolving the issue expeditiously.
The students have been demanding that the pattern of CSAT be changed to give level-playing field to those coming from rural areas. There are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each in the preliminary examination. These papers are also known as CSAT-I and CSAT-II.
The CSAT-II paper carries questions on comprehension, inter-personal skills including communication skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision-making and problem- solving, general mental ability, basic numeracy, and English language comprehension skills (of Class X level).
Students have been objecting to the level of aptitude and English language questions being asked in the examination claiming they are much above the standard prescribed for the examination.
The civil services examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in three stages--preliminary, main, and interview--to choose candidates for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.
OUTLOOK INDIA : UPSC: English Marks Not to Be Included, 2011 Aspirants May Reappear
New Delhi | Aug 04, 2014
The GOI has decided to delete the portion on English language comprehension skills (of Class X level).This carries 22.5 marks. This is not enough.No one questions the need to test comprehension, inter-personal skills including communication skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision-making and problem- solving, general mental ability. No one opposes testing candidates' familiarity with the English language
The aspirants’ demand is scrapping of C-SAT paper -II as its pattern is alleged to be heavily biased in favour of candidates from the Science, Engg and Management streams but hit those from the humanities streams and with rural background. Why not have a level playing field for all. The UPSC can always raise the cut-off level to select candidates for the Mains.
The demand is just and rational.
In the Prelims, each mark is important to decide the fate of candidates due to huge clustering at each cut-off. There is already a subjective paper on English in the Mains which is compulsory and qualifying.
The GOI should not carry out changes just for the sake of change. Language is an emotive issue in India and must be handled with care.
A K Saxena (A retd civil servant)