Government is yet to decide on the grievances of civil services aspirants against the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), which they claim is against students opting for Hindi medium. The UPSC has started issuing admit cards for the preliminary examination scheduled for August 24. It is a good decision by the commission. It has shown that they will not bow down to any politician and will take decisions according to interest of the larger section. They had removed paper 2 not because it favours certain section but it would have interfered with the studies and people and would force aspiring student to change their study plans in too little time. Grievances of non-English medium students should be addressed in this exam only. According to sources in the government, though a committee headed by former secretary (personnel) Arvind Verma is looking into the grievances against CSAT pattern and was recently asked to submit its report at the earliest possible, there is a slim chance of any postponement of the prelims exam. This is because the prelims this year are already behind the normal schedule. In 2013, prelims exam was held on May 26. A link on the UPSC website, available from Thursday, directs students to download e-admit cards for the prelims exam. Also, given that there must be at least a three-month gap between declaration of prelims results and the Mains examination, UPSC is said to have opposed a further delay in the prelims schedule.
If these students aspire to become IAS, they should know the basic of Maths, English and all other things. Such type of hooliganism is not expected from such aspirants. There are 40 per cent candidates who have non Hindi background. For the sake of equality in Exam, they can demand that question papers should be in Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Oriya, Tamil and Telugu. The demand for the so called Hindi anathema is not justified. Regionalising the UPSC Exam to get political mileage by various politicians should be called off. The grievances of students can only be dealt by experts. Protesting in the street with violence and Dharnas does not look good for any serious civil service aspirant. If changes are to be made, then translation of question paper (GS 1 and GS 2) should not only be done in Hindi but also in all other regional languages. There should be removal of compulsory English paper from main exam, as it does injustice to non-English speaking section. Interview should be conducted in all the regional languages and not only in English. If CSAT gives advantage to Science students then results are one sided. If we remove History, Political Science, Sociology, Ethics, Arts and Culture and so on from the examination then it will be grave injustice to the students of Social Science background. Then there will be demand for the removal of all analytical ability, logical reasoning, data interpretation, decision making and mathematics questions, as they provide advantage to science background students. However, the basic question comes from the class 10th syllabus. The CSAT paper has been introduced 3 years ago. If an aspirant is selected to Indian Foreign Service, he needs to learn English and a foreign language. What will he do?
The standard of English in CSAT is very sound and understandable. UPSC is an independent and legitimate body and I sincerely hope that it will not bow down and will continue to maintain the same standards. UPSC is mandated by constitution to provide the nation with an annual supply of skilled and talented administrators. Hence a certain level (class X or XII) of academic and semantic – aptitude is expected. If a serious aspirant does not have these aptitudes, he/she is a drag on the system. English skills are never seriously taught post recruitment. Some may have to pass the state language tests but that is only for IAS and IPS. Hence, if basic knowledge in English, logic and comprehension is sought to be scuttled for the sake of pacifying aspirants in their mid-thirties, the future of governance is of grave concern. The aspirants who have nearly 10 – 15 year time frame to crack the exam should be able to overcome their so called disadvantages. Those incapable may have our sympathies but not undue compassion. All students, no matter from which region of India should learn English. They don’t have English as their mother tongue but every school teaches English nowadays. Further, there is no reason for scrapping the exam just because their Hindi is incomprehensible. The same form of translation is available for GS paper also. Anyway, Hindi translation can be simplified. UPSC should not throw the baby with the bathwater.
Two days back, there was protest against the Union Public Service Commission Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT), which started on June 27 and gained momentum. More than 500 Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) aspirants were protesting in central and north Delhi, demanding the scrapping of the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), calling it discriminatory against those with Hindi background.
The CSAT is a compulsory part of the civil services examination, acting as a screening test before the main examination. A section of aspirants are demanding scrapping of CSAT-II arguing that it is biased against Hindi and vernacular medium students and those coming from a rural background.
In order to resolve UPSC CSAT issue, Cabinet Ministers Arun Jaitley and Jitender Singh met Home Minister Rajnath Singh at his residence on Sunday. The meeting was also attended by officials from the Prime Minister Office.