After days of violent protests over the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) in the UPSC examinations, the government on Monday said that the marks for English will not be added during gradation while maintaining that the test would remain as a part of the examination.
It also announced that UPSC 2011 aspirants can make another attempt in 2015, as the CSAT was introduced in that year.
The decision by the government was announced by Minister of State for Personnel Jitender Singh in the Lok Sabha on Monday. "The Government is of the opinion that in the Civil Services Preliminary examination, Paper II, the marks of the question-section on 'English language comprehension skills' should not be included for gradation or merit," he was quoted saying by NDTV.
The aspirants had been demanding the government to scrap Paper II of the CSAT, which includes about 8-9 questions relating to English comprehension. They claim that the CSAT will give more advantage to English-speaking applicants over the Hindi-speaking ones and those who write in regional languages.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called an emergency meeting on the CSAT on Monday, while Singh had held consultations with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP President Amit Shah on Sunday over the issue. A three-member committee had been appointed by the government to look into the demands of the aspirants to change the pattern of the test.
Following violent protests by Civil Service aspirants, the government had said last week that it would resolve the issue within a week's time. The issue had also led to disruptions in both the Houses of Parliament. [Read the report here].
However, aspirants were not entirely pleased with the government's resolution and have decided to protest outside Singh's residence later in the day, according to India Today.
Political parties such as the Samajwadi Party and the RJD also expressed their displeasure with the government's decision. "We will continue our agitation over the issue. This half way solution will not work and we want a complete acceptance of our demands," SP's Dharmendra Yadav told The Times of India.