New UPSC norms violate constitution: Jayalalithaa

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J Jayalalithaa
Chennai, March 13: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Wednesday termed the changes made by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in the scheme of civil services exams as "highly discriminatory" and "is calculated to bias the system against civil services aspirants from non-Hindi speaking regions".

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jayalalithaa termed the changes as violative of Article 16 of the Constitution (Right to Equality in public employment) and urged him to "intervene in the matter and prevail on the UPSC to reconsider these invidious, unfair and discriminatory changes".

She said the four major changes in the exam pattern adversely affected interests of students from Tamil Nadu, particularly those from rural backgrounds.

She said the new norm denied aspirants the chance to write the exams in Tamil unless they had studied in that medium till graduation.

"However, there is no such stipulation for candidates who wish to appear in the Hindi medium. Considering that both Tamil and Hindi are languages included in the eighth schedule of the constitution, this discriminates against not just Tamil-speaking candidates, but against all candidates from non-Hindi states, and in particular against rural students from SC/STs, BC (backward class) and MBC (most backward class) and other marginalised sections who would have had their mother tongue as the medium of instruction up to school level," she said.

She said the other change that candidates could take literature as an optional paper only if they have studied the literature of that language at the graduation level as main subject was illogical and discriminatory as such stipulation was not there for other optional subject.

According to Jayalalithaa, the norm that there should be a minimum of 25 candidates opting for a particular language medium failing which they would have to write the exam in English and Hindi was also discriminatory.

"The fourth change is to remove the compulsory qualifying paper in an Indian language and inclusion of an English composition and precis writing section as an evaluated portion of the essay paper instead of the qualifying English paper. This change also clearly favours urban, English educated candidates and acts against rural students belonging to disadvantaged sections," she said.

IANS

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