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UPSC: Demand unjust

Students are protesting against the UPSC examination format and this outburst is seen when the exam is just a few days far, i.e on August 24. The UPSC earlier accepted students' demands, including conducting it in the regional language, changes in the age (above 30), the number of chances (increased to six) and removing one optional subject. But the demand made this time is unjust. Hindi medium students want to the CSAT exam scrapped. CSAT checks the mental ability of a student. If engineering and medical students prepare arts subjects such as history and economics, what is the problem in following the reverse for arts or Hindi-medium students? Students coming to the streets only prove that they are not worthy of getting into the civil services as this is not an attitude that a civil servant should have. Students preparing for the prescribed pattern for one year will face a serious problem if it is changed just a few days before the exam. Honest and hardworking aspirants do not bother about such things and prepare according to the format prescribed. People on the street are just taking political advantage and playing with the future of others also.

Ashima Gupta, Chandigarh

Translation only issue

This refers to the editorial "Needless Protest" (August 4). The very argument of creating a "level playing field" in an exam seems a flawed one. Wouldn't it be bizarre if someone alleges that there is no "level playing field" in a medical entrance examination because it is biased in favour of students who are good at biology and is against mathematics students? If certain skills are deemed necessary to do a job efficiently, then levelling down the standards for testing these skills on any ground is imprudent.

There is unreasonable hue and cry about two things, viz. English and the aptitude test in CSAT. The significance of English cannot be overestimated in bureaucracy as bureaucrats at the higher echelons are required to meticulously draft and interpret legislations, agreements and international treaties; represent the country internationally and liaise between governments of different states in English. Regarding aptitude, it's simply laughable to conceive our future administrators lacking sound aptitude. If aptitude questions can be considered for removal to please the humanities students, why geography or history questions shouldn't be done away with to make it easier for engineering students? Moreover, why then to ask English and aptitude questions in law and MBA entrance examinations? The only genuine issue in this controversy is of inaccurate translation into Hindi which government must address urgently.


Vote-bank politics

The editorial, was right in all respects. The MPs opposing the conduct of the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) by the Union Service Public Commission (UPSA) in English are just doing so to protect their own seats by playing ugly vote-bank politics. They are only lowering the standard of the UPSC exams by demanding that the CSAT be conducted in Hindi (and other regional languages) for their own selfish interests.

They are not bothered about the value of the English language and the high status of the UPSC being degraded in the eyes of the world. Shame on the dirty politics of some of our unscrupulous MPs who merely waste time and public money by raising unjustified demands by indulging in unwanted and useless controversies. There should be a law for an appropriate action for those parliamentarians who disrupt the proceedings of the House for gaining cheap publicity by being in the news for dirty reasons.

R K KAPOOR, New Jersey (USA)

Illogical outburst

The outburst over the CSAT in the UPSC by civil service aspirants is illogical. They are giving the argument that engineering and science students have an upper hand in the preliminary exam because they study CSAT. But there is no subject on aptitude in engineering courses. Questions which are asked in CSAT exam are of Class X level. But the main problem lies in the translation from English to Hindi, which is quite tough. Even NCERT books in Hindi have tough translations. The aspirants should not waste their time in agitating over language issues, rather they should take this as a challenge.

Rajdeep Singh, Patiala

Bracket the English word

Reference the write-up "Testing time for UPSC", I feel that all those agitating on certain conditions of the UPSC exam are not fit to become good civil services officers. They lack officer-like qualities and want to politicise the issue to gain undue favours. In the Hindi belt also many students are taking English as the first language and preferring the medium for the test. The percentage of such students is increasing every year. Naturally, the percentage of Hindi medium successful candidates is also decreasing proportionally. Secondly, in case you are preparing to undertake a test you have to prepare accordingly. For example, a candidate appearing for a bank test cannot demand that the accountancy portion should not be there as it is not known to non-commerce candidates. The tests are structured to suit the requirement of a particular service. A candidate cannot dictate terms neither it should be politicised.

I have two suggestions. Firstly, the mathematics portion of paper should be increased. Up to the class X level, there are very less language barrier in mathematics. The subject brings out the intelligence of a candidate. Secondly, in Hindi or other language papers, along with the difficult language translation, the English word should be bracketed as is done in many other competitive exams.

Darshan Mankotia, Kandwal (Kangra)

Cabinet formation

The method of Cabinet formation seems defective. The best way would be to go in for an elected Cabinet, with the Chief Minister enjoying the prerogative of allocating portfolios only among his ministerial colleagues. This method would end grumbling, factionalism and dissidence in parties. The chief ministership could go to the members of the ruling party by rotation, thus ensuring fair play and, in the bargain, promote cohesion in the party.

Tara Chand, Ambota (Una)

Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: letters@tribuneindia.com


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