Hoping to end the row over the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Service Aptitude Test, the Centre has agreed to take up the issue for discussion. There has been high drama in and out of Parliament over the issue with opposition parties demanding clarity from the Centre on its stand.
Blame game has also begun over the issue as the Bharatiya Janata Party accused the previous Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for the mess.
“The government took a step after a lot of consideration and thought. This problem was started by Congress and UPA. Now the NDA and BJP has come up with a proper solution for that,” BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
Amid uproar in Parliament, North Indian parties like the Samajwadi Party demanded scrapping of CSAT altogether, while parties like the DMK and AIADMK are insisted that the decision of the government discriminates against students from non-Hindi speaking states. They are demanding that the exam be allowed in other Indian languages as well.
“The problem is a student from Tamil Nadu ,especially a student with a rural background, is not permitted to write the exam in his mother tongue. I have nothing against my Hindi brothers but my language should be respected,” AIADMK leader V Maitreyan said.
Several protesting MPs rushed to the well of the House in Rajya Sabha raising slogans against the government.
Uproar continued not only within Parliament but outside too. A group of UPSC aspirants have been protesting in the capital saying that the exam favours commerce and science students over those from humanities stream. In Hyderabad too, aspirants have been protesting against the exam.
The government had on Monday announced that a 20-mark English section in the CSAT paper will not be included for grades or merit.
“The solution is to give equal weightage for paper 1 and paper 2 that will take care of the problem. Secondly, taking away English will be disadvantageous to all non-Hindi speaking languages,” Congress leader Jesudasu Seelam said.
Meanwhile, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi refused to comment on the matter. When asked by reporters, Rahul only said, “I met and spoke to students on the matter. I have put forth my views in front of them very clearly. You should ask them.”
Civil services aspirants, who have been protesting against the CSAT exam, took their battle to Jantar Mantar today and sat on a dharna there.
On Monday, the government had announced changes in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam but the same failed to satisfy the agitating aspirants.
Many resolved to continue fighting for “complete scrapping” of the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT).
“We are not satisfied with Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh’s speech in Lok Sabha regarding CSAT. We demand complete scrapping of CSAT. We have decided to continue our fight from Jantar Mantar,” Pawan, an UPSC aspirant who has been leading the protest, said.
The minister had yesterday told Parliament that English marks of CSAT-II will not be included for gradation or merit, and candidates of 2011, when CSAT was first introduced, may get another chance to appear for the test next year.
According to Pawan, the government’s announcement failed to fulfil the protesters’ demands.
“We never asked the BJP-led government to modify CSAT pattern. Instead, our demand is to abolish this test for the welfare of lakhs of students who had studied in Hindi medium,” he added.
“Before elections, BJP had promised to scrap this test. The BJP-led central government has cheated lakhs of UPSC aspirants who had hoped that the new government would pay heed to their demand,” he said.