UPSC row in deadlock: Candidates not happy with Govt’s move, demand scrapping of CSAT

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The civil services aspirants, who had been protesting against the CSAT format in Mukherjee Nagar of North Delhi for the past 25 days, will now hold protests at Jantar Mantar.
It seems that the CSAT row is far from getting over as the candidates have vowed to continue their fight for "complete scrapping" of the CSAT paper and have said that they are not satisfied with the changes announced by the government in the UPSC exam.

What has the Govt done?

Buckling under pressure of protests, government on Monday announced that English marks of CSAT-II will not be included for gradation or merit in the civil services preliminary examination. It also announced that candidates of 2011, when CSAT was first introduced, may get another chance to appear for the test next year.

What are the students saying?

The civil services aspirants, who had been protesting against the CSAT format in Mukherjee Nagar of North Delhi for the past 25 days, will now hold protests at Jantar Mantar.

The protesters are saying that they don't want the CSAT to be modified rather they want it to be scrapped.

"We are not satisfied with Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh's speech in Lok Sabha regarding CSAT. We demand complete scrapping of CSAT. We have decided to continue our fight from Jantar Mantar," Pawan, an UPSC aspirant who has been leading the protest, said.

CSAT issue rocks Parliament

The CSAT chaos also hit Parliament on Tuesday as opposition parties also demanded complete scrapping of CSAT from the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam.

What will happen now?

As per the schedule, the civil services preliminary examination will be held on August 24 in which two compulsory papers namely CSAT I and CSAT II of 200 marks each will be there. This exam will be held with the changes announced by government including non-inclusion of English marks in gradation of candidates.

The CSAT-II paper covers comprehension, interpersonal skills including communication skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision-making and problem- solving, general mental ability, basic numeracy, and English language comprehension skills (of Class X level).

What has happened in the past?

The CSAT pattern was implemented from 2011. The civil services examination is conducted in three stages preliminary, main and interview to choose candidates for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) among others.

This new pattern of UPSC's preliminary test triggered widespread protest with the Civil Services aspirants educated in Hindi medium terming it biased. They said that this pattern only favours aspirants educated in English medium and thus they demanded scrapping of this format.

Till 2010, the pattern for preliminary test comprised of two papers - optional paper and general studies. From 2011, CSAT was introduced which included two compulsory papers: CSAT-I and CSAT-II.

Adding more to the problem is the Google translator disaster which has put the aspirants from the Hindi belt in a disadvantageous situation and has also become a roadblock for them to qualify.

The government may have reassured that it wouldn't allow any language-based discrimination in these exams but looking at the current situation, it seems that it will be a challenge for the Modi government which is facing the trouble at two fronts first the angry students and second opportunist opposition parties. Thus, it will be interesting to see how Modi government overcomes this major crisis.

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