Will share conclusion at appropriate time: MoS PMO on UPSC row

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 3 2014, 00:16am hrs
The government's decision on the UPSC row will be shared at an appropriate time, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said today, even as civil services aspirants' protest seeking change in the examination pattern intensified.

"At the appropriate time, the government will share whatever the conclusions are," he told reporters here after meeting Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

The minister was asked about details of the government's decision on the Varma Committee's report that examined the possibilities of changing the pattern of civil services examination among other matters.

Today's meeting to discuss the civil services examination issue was held at Rajnath Singh's residence, official sources said.

A three-member committee, under the chairmanship of former Secretary of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) Arvind Varma, was formed in March this year to look into the demands of students for changes in the pattern of civil services examination.

The committee submitted its report to the government on Thursday which is currently under examination.

The students have been protesting in the national capital in support of their demand to change the pattern of Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) to give level-playing field to those coming from rural areas.

There are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each in the preliminary examination. These papers are also known as CSAT I and CSAT II.

The CSAT-II paper carries questions on comprehension, interpersonal skills including communication skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision-making and problem- solving, general mental ability, basic numeracy, and English language comprehension skills (of Class X level).

Students have been objecting to the level of aptitude, analytical and English language questions being asked in the CSAT II examination, claiming they are biased in favour of those aspirants with engineering and management background.

The protesting students have also been demanding that the civil services preliminary examination, scheduled to be held on August 24, be postponed.

The country's prestigious civil services examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in three stages -- preliminary, main, and interview -- to choose candidates for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) among others.

The other members of the committee, which was formed on March 14, are IAS officers R K Gupta and P K Das. R K Gupta is working as Principal Secretary to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor and P K Das is working as Joint Secretary in DoPT.

The Committee's chairman Arvind Varma is a retired IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre. He has served as DoPT Secretary between September 30, 1996 and November 30, 1998.

Meanwhile, scores of National Students' Union Of India (NSUI) activists today staged a protest outside the residence of Rajnath Singh, demanding scrapping of Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT).