Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Soon after returning to India after a two-day visit to Nepal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday night met with senior ministers of NDA government like Rajnath Singh (Home), Arun Jaitley (Finance) and Jitendra Singh (MoS, Personnel) and got a briefing over the prolonged Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) issue, reports said.
The meeting took place in the national capital amidst scores of civil services aspirants vowed to continue their fight for "complete scrapping" of the CSAT paper and decided to shift their agitation to Jantar Mantar.
Buckling under pressure of street protests, government today announced that English marks in CSAT-II will not be included for gradation or merit in the civil services preliminary examination but the protesters were still not satisfied and demanded scrapping of the aptitude test.
The government`s announcement came over the said issue in an attempt to mollify those agitating against giving prominence to English and weightage to those with engineering and management background was made in Parliament after opposition parties in both the Houses created an uproar over the issue.
As per reports, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) will issue a notification to reflect the changes announced by the government which the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will implement.
To mollify the agitating candidates, Jitendra Singh had said, "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," the PTI reported.
In a brief statement, Singh had said, "Candidates, who appeared in civil services examination 2011, may be given one more attempt in 2015."
Parliament has witnessed repeated uproar and several adjournments in the past few days over the issue.
However, the government`s statement was rejected by the protesters who demanded complete scrapping of the CSAT.
"We are not satisfied with Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh`s speech in Lok Sabha regarding CSAT. We demand complete scrapping of CSAT. We have decided to continue our fight...," Pawan, an UPSC aspirant who has been leading the protest, said.
Grappling with the growing protests and snowballing controversy, the Centre also formed a three-member committee under IAS officer Arvind Varma to offer solution on the issue. The panel favoured a status quo on CSAT-II and wanted UPSC to conduct the exams on schedule without any change.
Reports further said that the civil services preliminary examination will be held as scheduled on August 24 with the changes announced by government in Parliament today including non-inclusion of English marks in gradation of candidates.
The move comes despite demands by some protesting students to postpone the preliminary exam until the new pattern was adopted by the UPSC.
The examination will be held as per schedule and the UPSC, which conducts the prestigious test, will incorporate all the changes announced by the government today in Parliament, official sources said.
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 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.
The UPSC has started issuing admit cards to the candidates for the August 24 preliminary exam.
Meanwhile, RSS ideologue KN Govindacharya has requested the Lok Sabha Speaker to initiate action against the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Chairman and the Secretary of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) for violating `Rajbhasha Sankalp`, which was passed by both Houses of Parliament.
In 2011, the civil services exam pattern was changed by the UPSC without any mandate and "in violation of Rajbhasha Sankalp", he said. In his memorandum, Govindacharya demanded that UPSC exam papers be originally framed in Hindi, and then it be translated to English.
With agency inputs