UPSC crisis over CSAT: Parliament disrupted, protesters still out on streets; Narendra Modi mum

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 6 2014, 00:19am hrs
The ongoing row over the UPSC issue escalated today with Opposition parties disrupting Parliament demanding a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi even as scores of UPSC aspirants continued their protests pressing for scrapping CSAT.

The Opposition made a strong pitch for setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee(JPC) to probe the matter, saying it involved the career of lakhs of students.

They also demanded that the decision taken by the government on the issue be kept in abeyance and the Civil Services Preliminary exams slated for August 24 be postponed.

Protests continued today despite government yielding yesterday and and announcing that English marks in the test will not be included for gradation or merit in the civil services preliminary examination.

The aspirants, who had been protesting against the CSAT format in Mukherjee Nagar of north Delhi for the past 26 days, have now shifted their base to Jantar Mantar.

Protestors said they would continue their fight unless Centre doesn't scrap CSAT completely.

The Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha became a casualty once again as opposition members created an uproar over the issue trooping into the well forcing adjournment of the House for half-an-hour.

The Lok Sabha also saw a brief adjournment of 15 minutes during Zero Hour when SP and RJD members entered the well creating noisy scenes over the issue and Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked them to give notice for their demand for a discussion.

Nine opposition parties had given a notice for suspension of Question Hour in Rajya Sabha while demanding a discussion on the issue, but Chairman Hamid Ansari asked them to give proper notice and not raise "extraneous" matters during the Question Hour.

Members of various opposition parties including Congress, SP, BSP, JD-U, CPI, CPI-M, DMK, AIADMK and TMC sought a discussion on the issue for early resolution of the matter and demanded scrapping of CSAT and postponement of UPSC exams.

The civil services preliminary examination will be held as scheduled on August 24 with the changes announced by government including non-inclusion of English marks in gradation of candidates.

There are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each in the civil services 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).

The CSAT pattern was implemented from 2011.

The agitators claim that the aptitude test favours candidates who studied in English-medium schools, and have been urging a Hindi alternative to the compulsory use of English that many parts of the exam now insist on.

The civil services examination is conducted 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.