UPSC exam to be held as per schedule on Aug 24: Govt

UPSC exam to be held as per schedule on Aug 24: Govt

The civil services examination will be held as per schedule on August 24, the government declared today in Parliament, while saying that consultations will be held with various parties and stakeholders on the matter after the current session.

"As for this year, there is no scope for postponement of (UPSC preliminary) examination," Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said as opposition created uproar in Rajya Sabha demanding an all-party meeting immediately.

Civil services aspirants are agitating against more weightage given to English in the exam.

Naidu said the UPSC issue requires "deep" study and discussion with political parties and other stakeholders as there are both sides of the argument about the CSAT in UPSC.

"...after the session, government is ready to discuss it with all" to reach a consensus, he said, adding the government has taken a correct decision in this regard and minds of students should not be disturbed.

As members insisted for all-party meeting before August 24, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prakash Javadekar said there is already a view among many members that it will not be possible to find a solution to the issue immediately.

"An all-party meeting has to take place to discuss wider reforms. We will inform about the date later on," he said.

Earlier, government had announced marks of English will not be included for gradation or merit in UPSC exam.

As soon as the House met for the day, opposition parties including SP and BSP raised the issue and demanded that government should immediately call an all-party meeting to resolve the matter as it affects lakhs of students.

In the Lok Sabha, AIADMK leader M Thambidurai made a strong plea that the UPSC exam should be conducted in all regional languages to provide level-playing field to students from all over the country.

The UPSC row figured once again in the post-lunch sitting in Rajya Sabha when members raked up the controversy while seeking clarifications on the minister's statement.

AIADMK and other opposition parties sought to know if the civil service aspirants would be able to write the examination in native languages.

Trouble broke out over Jitendra Singh's remark that, "We have made it language-neutral. What is the confusion?"

Singh's statement could not pacify agitating members from Congress, CPI, DMK, Trinamool and AIADMK.

They kept on demanding clarifications and wanted to know what Singh meant by "language-neutral".

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien ruled that there cannot be any discussion on the statement.
However, this did not satisfy the members and amid din, Kurien briefly adjourned the House.

When it reassembled, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the minister's use of the phrase 'language-neutral' has further complicated the entire thing.

To this, Singh said he meant that government had "removed the bias".

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu also intervened saying the sensitive matter involves few lakh aspirants and a solution has been reached at in consultation with various stakeholders including students.

Members, however, were unrelenting and kept on asking if the aspirants would be able to write the examination in their native languages. As din continued, Kurien adjourned the House again.

When the House reassembled at 5 PM, similar scenes were witnessed and some AIADMK members trooped into the Well. Kurien then adjourned the House for the day.

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