Friday 28 October 2016

UPSC Exam Row Comes Up in LS, Govt Promises Fast Solution

New Delhi

As the row over UPSC examination pattern again reverberated in the Lok Sabha, government today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself taken up the issue seriously and a "balanced and mutually acceptable" solution will be found soon.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Samajwadi Party member Dharmendra Yadav condemned the lathi-charge against students agitating on the issue and wanted an early resolution.

Amid cries of 'shame, shame' from the opposition benches, he said the police have come down so hard on the agitating students that two of them were missing while three others were hospitalised in a serious condition.

He also charged the government with "doing nothing on the several assurances" it gave in Parliament on the issue.

Rajeev Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav (RJD) said the issue concerned not only Hindi but all regional languages and condemned the "brutal manner" in which the police quelled the protests by the students.

At one point, BJD leader B Mahtab was also seen saying something as his party members were in the aisle.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav was also on his feet trying to raise the issue, but could not be heard in the din as some members of Congress, RJD and SP stormed the Well raising slogans denouncing the government over the police action and seeking a solution within a time-frame.

Responding to the members' concerns, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the government and the Prime Minister have taken the matter "seriously" and would take a final decision at the earliest.

"It is not a political or a partisan issue. I will convey to the Prime Minister the strong feeling of the entire House," he said.

Observing that "it is not a Hindi or a non-Hindi issue but of regional languages also," Naidu said, "We will have to keep the balance in mind and take a balanced and mutually acceptable decision."

Earlier when the House assembled, opposition members, including Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, wanted to raise the issue by adjourning the Question Hour. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan disallowed them, saying she would allow it during Zero Hour.

Civil services aspirants are protesting against the pattern of the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) which they believe gives an unfair advantage to English-speaking students while leaving candidates from Hindi or regional languages background at a disadvantage. They want CSAT to be scrapped.

Protests have intensified after Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) issued admit cards last week for preliminary entrance exam scheduled for August 24.

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