Govt allows regional languages in UPSC Mains

Giving in to the demand raised by MPs in Parliament, the government on Thursday decided to retain the earlier practice of two qualifying papers–one in an Indian language and another in English–while dropping the controversial English component in the essay paper comprising 100 marks in the 2013 Civil Services Main Examination.

Disclosing this in both the Houses of Parilament, Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy said: “The English component (of 100 marks) from the essay paper will be dropped and the status quo ante of two qualifying papers of 300 marks each in any modern Indian language and in English – shall be restored.”

The minister had announced on March 15 in Parliament that the changes would be put on hold following an uproar from several parties that the UPSC had given a go by to the written test in mother tongue of the candidates or their choice of language.

UPSC had recently issued a notification giving more weightage to English in the civil service exams.Narayanasamy, making a suo motu statement on Thursday, said the essay paper would now be of 250 marks to be written in the medium or language of the candidate’s choice.

As before, the candidates would be allowed to use any one language from the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution or English as the medium of writing the examination.
Language prerequisite

According to him, the controversial conditionality imposed by the Union Public Service Commission that language would be allowed as the medium of examination only if a minimum of 25 candidates wanted it has been dropped. A candidate would be allowed to take up literature as an optional subject “without the conditionality of having to do his/her graduation in that language’s literature.

”The minister said these decisions were taken after the government took into account the views expressed by MPs in Parliament, representations on the notification and consultation with different agencies.

The government had kept the UPSC notification in abeyance after the two Houses of Parliament witnessed repeated uproar and adjournments, with members terming the notification as “unconstitutional” and demanding its rollback. They had also sought action against the UPSC chief and others responsible for the action, which they said went against regional languages.

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