A large group of civil service aspirants today burnt their admit cards to an entrance exam that they allege discriminates against non-English speaking students.
The protesters threw their cards into a bonfire outside the office of the Union Public Service Commission or UPSC that conducts the exam. They also met Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who reportedly assured that he would take up their problem and no injustice would be done to them.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “UPSC is finding a way out. I have briefed the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi). The issue will be resolved in a week.”
The students want a preliminary aptitude test in the Civil Services examination to be scrapped as they feel it leaves Hindi and regional language aspirants at a disadvantage. The objective type test introduced in 2011 needs working knowledge of English and has also been challenged in court.
It resulted in a panel, which has been asked to submit its report in a week.
Protests resumed last week after the admit cards were issued for the preliminary entrance exam scheduled on August 24. Students allege that the exam was to be held in September but was advanced to stymie their protest.
Opposition parties including the Congress have taken up their cause in Parliament.
“Congress is always with students. No injustice will be allowed to be done to students coming from poor background,” Rahul Gandhi reportedly told protesters.
Last week, hundreds of students were arrested or detained as they clashed with the police on Thursday and Friday.
In Parliament, the government assured that there would be no discrimination based on language.
“We sympathise with the students, we are looking at their problem with all seriousness,” Jitender Singh, Minister of State at the Prime Minister’s Office told opposition MPs.