New Delhi: Scores of students, protesting against the existing pattern of civil services examination, on Wednesday ended their indefinite fast after getting positive assurance from the government in support of their demands.
The fast formally ended after Member of Parliament Manoj Tiwari and other leaders offered fruit juice to striking students, a statement issued by the government said.
The students expressed their gratitude and thanked Union Minster Jitendra Singh for his concern about their demands, it said.
The protesting civil services aspirants were demanding that the pattern for the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) be changed to give level-playing field to those hailing from rural areas.
They have been holding protests in various places in the national capital region in support of their demands including that to postpone the date of civil services preliminary examination, 2014 which is scheduled to be held on August 24.
Earlier in the day, Singh has said in Lok Sabha that the Government is fully aware of the issue and is taking a sympathetic view on the matter.
"We appeal to the students not to cause unnecessary physical and mental agony to themselves, as the Government is already pursuing their cause in right earnest," the Minister had said.
The Government has constituted a three-member committee to look into their grievances and put forward its suggestions. "We are writing to the Committee to expedite the process and furnish its report at the earliest, considering the urgency of the matter.
"We wish to convey to the Hon`ble Members as well as the students that there will be no bias allowed on the basis of language. We urge upon these youngsters to end their protest and resume their normal routine," he has said.
The civil services examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission in three stages--preliminary, main, and interview-- to choose candidates for prestigious Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) among others.
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).