Notice to Centre, UPSC on plea against English test

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 18:30

New Delhi: The UPSC was asked on Wednesday by the
Delhi High Court to respond to a plea questioning its decision
to introduce in Civil Services Preliminary Examination a new
compulsory paper, part of which is to test candidates` ability
to understand English.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice
Rajiv Sahai Endlaw issued notice also to the Ministry of
Personnel, besides the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC),
seeking their stands by March 14 on the plea by one Dina Nath
Batra.

Batra, in his petition, contended the new test paper
deprived a majority of Indian citizens, having Hindi or other
languages as the language of instruction during their
education, of a level playing field in the competition.

His counsel Jagdeep Dhankad said that civil services
aspirants till 2010 were required to answer two objective type
question papers - one for general knowledge and the other on a
subject of their choice, in the annual preliminary
examination.

The UPSC, however, introduced a new Aptitude Test paper
worth 200 marks in 2011 containing an English Language
Comprehension Skill section worth 22.50 marks, to be
answered compulsorily by all candidates, said the lawyer.

The counsel alleged the new question paper on English is
"discriminatory" as it denies "equal competing platform" to
those aspirants who had studied in Hindi medium or any other
Indian language.

"Hindi is the basis of Indian culture and making English
compulsory will strike a body blow to wipe off India’s rich
cultural heritage from its roots. Hindi and other classical
languages have to be given their rightful place in the
educational system and in civil services," the petition said.

The petitioner also contended that the central government
had not consulted various official committees on language,
while implementing the new pattern.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 18:29

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