(News) UPSC have decided to withdraw all controversial language changes to the Civil Services Examination

UPSC have decided to withdraw all controversial language changes to the Civil Services Examination

The government and UPSC have decided to withdraw all controversial language changes to the civil services examination but will go ahead with other reforms to have four general studies papers instead of two.

Government sources said the decision was taken at the meeting of the Union Public Service Commission representatives with minister of state for personnel, V Narayanasamy on Wednesday.

The restrictions on writing the examination in a regional language are being withdrawn under this formula. Besides, a 100 mark English paper – whose marks were to be counted to draw up the merit list – is also being scrapped.

Narayanasamy last week told angry Lok Sabha MPs that the government would keep the notification in abeyance and maintain status quo ante, a Latin phrase for the way things were before.

But the UPSC – that had been furiously pushing the changes despite reservations on the timing of the changes just ahead of the examination – was able to persuade the department not to scrap the reforms lock, stock and barrel.

“It has been decided to make changes on the contentious language issue to the satisfaction of the MPs. All their concerns have been addressed,” a government official told HT, pointing that a strong view had emerged during discussions over the last few days not to withdraw all changes.

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The English essay paper of 100 marks in the 2013 Civil Services Main Examination, which raised a nation-wide controversy, has been dropped and the earlier practice of two qualifying papers in any Indian language and English restored, government said on Thursday.

“The English component (of 100 marks) from the Essay Paper will be dropped and the status quo ante of two qualifying papers of 300 marks each in any modern Indian language and in English -- shall be restored,” Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy said in the Lok Sabha.

In a statement on the issue, he said the essay paper would now be of 250 marks to be written in the medium or language of the candidate’s choice.

Bowing to all-round pressure in Parliament, government on March 15 had kept in abeyance the recent controversial notification of the UPSC, giving more weightage to English in these exams.

As before, the candidates would be allowed to use any one language from the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution or English as the medium of writing the examination, he said.

The controversial conditionality imposed by the Union Public Service Commission that language would be allowed as the medium of examination only if a minimum of 25 candidates wanted it has been dropped, Mr Narayanasamy said.

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Courtesy: Hindustan Times, The Hindu