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UPSC row rocks RS, again
Govt says open to discussions on ‘reforms’ in IAS exams but at a later stage
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 5
As the Rajya Sabha again witnessed uproar over the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) of the UPSC today, the BJP maintained that the NDA government had tried to find the best possible solution under the current circumstances, considering that the controversy was a “legacy” of the previous UPA government.

Indicating “reforms” in the UPSC examination pattern, though at a later stage, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said: “The government had done whatever it could at this stage. This is a UPA paap (sin), a virasat, which we have inherited. We need to discuss the overall reforms in the civil services pattern but this is not the correct time. Students are preparing for the exams and it would not be correct to confuse them further. Reforms (in the examination pattern) will be discussed but at a later stage,” he said outside the House.

Keeping in mind the BJP’s majority in the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha has become a favourite battleground of the Opposition parties, which have good presence in the Upper House, to raise the issue. Today, as soon as the House met for the day, members of the Congress, SP, BSP, CPM, CPI, DMK and AIADMK demanded a discussion on the matter.

The issue was also raised in the Lok Sabha during Zero Hour but the Rajya Sabha saw Opposition members vehemently engaging in verbal duels, demanding scrapping of the CSAT pattern.

Opposition benches, particularly from non-Hindi speaking regions, insisted that question papers of the preliminary examination should be in all languages. AIADMK members demanded question papers in Tamil, while Kanimozhi of the DMK said all Indian languages should be included in preliminary exams so that students, who do not know English or Hindi, do not face any problem.

After his pleas to let the House function went unheeded, Chairman Hamid Ansari told members that he would call a meeting of the Rajya Sabha Committee to decide on the fate of the Question Hour.

While the Congress demanded scrapping of the CSAT alleging it favoured students from English background, BK Hariprasad and JD Seelam, party members from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, respectively, struck a different note.

Hariprasad said language of the region he represented was not one of the 22 Indian languages listed in the eighth schedule and demanded that “status quo should be maintained”. Seelam said “taking away English” would be a disadvantage to all non-Hindi states.





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