New Delhi: Members of the National Students' Union of India will protest outside Home Minister Rajnath Singh's residence in the national capital on Saturday over the Union Public Service Commission CSAT examination row.
In a setback to the protesting aspirants, the Arvind Verma committee report submitted to the government has recommended that no change should be made in the Civil Service Aptitude Test as it is a scientifically formed exam and shouldn't be tinkered with.
According to sources, the committee has recommended that the quality of English to Hindi translations in CSAT paper should be improved. There are 20 marks of English comprehension which are of class 10th level and sources said that future civil servants are expected to have that level of knowledge.
The English questions are translated in Hindi through Google translator which gives the literal meaning of the word. For example the word steel plant was translated into 'Loohe Ka Paudha'. Anyone who has used Google translator would vouch that its resulted are of an extremely poor quality.
Meanwhile, the UPSC exam row generated heat in both Houses of Parliament with a member tearing a paper and throwing it towards the Speaker in Lok Sabha and almost the entire opposition staging a walkout in the Upper House as the government refused to set a time-line for resolving the issue.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi accused the government of playing with the lives of civil services aspirants. "The government is playing with the lives of millions if aspirants of civil services by faking to resolve the issue this way or that way. Somebody has to resolve the issue. We condemn Government of India's cavalier attitude," he said.
While the Arvind Verma committee, which was setup to study if changes are required in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination pattern, has submitted its report, the recommendations are not binding on the Central government and the UPSC, which is an autonomous body. Yet any decision by the government will have political ramifications as several MPs have raised the alleged bias of CSAT against rural, Hindi and regional language background students.
The Civil Service Preliminary Examination is the first step towards joining the top echelons of bureaucracy. The structure of the CSAT is the main bone of contention, which many aspirants feel is biased towards technical and management students and it should be scrapped.
The structure of the exam was changed in 2011 and since then the aspirants from Humanities and Hindi belt are protesting against it. The change has adversely affected the number of aspirants cracking the exam from Humanities stream and Hindi belt as the numbers have gone down drastically.
The prelims examination is divided into two sections - General Studies and CSAT and both the papers are of 200 marks. The General Studies consists of 100 questions and the CSAT of 80 questions. But the marks required to qualify General Studies is 30 whereas for CSAT it is 70.
The CSAT comprises of questions based on communication skill, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision making and problem solving, general mental ability, basic numeracy, data interpretation and English comprehension.