Saturday 22 October 2016

Uproar in Parliament Over UPSC Issue

New Delhi
File - PTI Photo / TV GRAB

The ongoing row over the UPSC issue saw disruption of Parliamentary proceedings today as opposition parties demanded a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into the matter besides a discussion on it.

The entire opposition demanded in the Rajya Sabha that the matter be debated and a solution found to the issue involving career of lakhs of students.

They also demanded that the decision taken by the government on the issue be kept in abeyance and the Civil Services Preliminary exams slated for August 24 be postponed.

The Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha became a casualty once again as opposition members created an uproar over the issue trooping into the well forcing adjournment of the House for half-an-hour.

The Lok Sabha also saw a brief adjournment of 15 minutes during Zero Hour when SP and RJD members entered the well creating noisy scenes over the issue and Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked them to give notice for their demand for a discussion.

Nine opposition parties had given a notice for suspension of Question Hour in Rajya Sabha while demanding a discussion on the issue, but Chairman Hamid Ansari asked them to give proper notice and not raise "extraneous" matters during the Question Hour.

Members of various opposition parties including Congress, SP, BSP, JD-U, CPI, CPI-M, DMK, AIADMK and TMC sought a discussion on the issue for early resolution of the matter and demanded scrapping of CSAT and postponement of UPSC exams.

They also sought an assurance from the government for holding an immediate discussion on the matter, but Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said the matter needs to be raised at the Business Advisory Committee meeting or morning meeting of various parties with the Chairman.

Dissatisfied with the government's solution on the issue, Naresh Agarwal (SP) said, "They are not replying to the issue raised by us. The Prime Minister should speak."

Questioning government's intent in resolving the issue, Pramod Tiwari (Congress) said, "Government's bad intent has made it an issue of English-Hindi. It is not an issue of Hindi.

"It is a question of all Indian languages. Let there be a Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into the entire issue."

Derek O'Brien (TMC) accused the government of giving a "knee-jerk reaction" to the students' agitation.

"That reaction has a counter reaction. There are nine parties which feel this issue needs to be discussed. Let government give an assurance that they will discuss the issue," he said.

P Rajeeve (CPI-M) said the statement made by government on the issue has opened a Pandora's box.

Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said the issue will not be resolved till there is a discussion on it and Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) sought to know when will there be a discussion as the House is till August 14 and Civil Services exams are on August 24.

Kanimozhi (DMK) said the whole issue was not being addressed and sought a debate. Satish Misra (BSP) made a demand for a discussion saying keeping in mind the national languages, the CSAT pattern should be scrapped and rejected the government's decision announced yesterday as "all the more wrong".

D Raja (CPI) said what the government has said yesterday is not acceptable and sought that all languages be given equal status. He demanded a discussion on the issue.

Keen to defuse the UPSC row, government yesterday announced in Parliament that English marks in CSAT-II will not be included for gradation or merit.

The government had, however, refused to yield to the demand of the civil service aspirants for doing away with Civil Services A

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