All-party meet to resolve CSAT issue, says govt

All-party meet to resolve CSAT issue, says govt

The government will convene an all-party meeting to reach a solution on the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) row, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prakash Javadekar announced in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. 

The House has been witnessing uproar for days on the issue. However, his statement did not appease the Opposition as the CPI, CPM, SP and the BSP staged a walkout claiming that the move is a “delaying tactic” and there should be an immediate decision. The government is keen on allowing the exam to be held as scheduled on August 24.

Javadekar said that nine lakh students were appearing for the UPSC preliminary exam this time. “Let us give our best wishes to all those who are taking the August 24 exam,” he appealed to members.

Javadekar also said the government took two decisions in the matter showing its sensitivity to the issue and “there are still many more questions” like “how relevant is the CSAT” exam pattern and in what language the exams including interviews should be held. He said that “this debate is needed” on whether there is need for some change.

“An all-party meeting will definitely take place. If there is a need, more such meetings can take place,” he said, referring to SP leader Ramgopal Yadav’s suggestion. CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, however, reacted sharply and dismissed the minister’s suggestion. “Don’t delay it further. These youngsters will serve our country. They are our future officers,” he said, adding, “Do not apply delaying tactics. Government should say what is the status quo. This is not satisfactory. That is why we are staging a walkout.” 

P Rajeev, also of the CPM, asked whether the August 4 statement of Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Jitendra Singh, was valid. Singh had said, “Government is of the opinion that in the Civil Services Preliminary examination Paper-II, marks of the question section on 'English Language comprehension skills' should not be included for gradation or merit. Candidates, who appeared in Civil Services Examination 2011, may be given one more attempt in 2015.”

In a further setback for the protesting students, the government said there was no inaccuracy in the translation of questions from English to Hindi in the civil services examination. When asked if inaccurate translation had created problems for civil services aspirants, Jitendra Singh in the Lok Sabha said, “No.” The students have claimed that the translations were substandard and the UPSC was using Google translator for the purpose.

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