New Delhi: In a major jolt to protesting aspirants, the Arvind Verma committee has recommended status quo vis a vis Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Preliminary Examination, sources said on Friday. According to the committee the Civil Service Aptitude Test is a scientifically formed exam and shouldn't be tinkered with, the sources added.
The committee, however, has recommended that the quality of English to Hindi translation in CSAT paper should be improved. There are 20 marks of English comprehension which are of class 10th level and sources say that future civil servants are expected to have that level of knowledge.
In a bizarre decision 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.
The Google translator has put aspirants from the Hindi belt in a disadvantageous situation and has allegedly become a roadblock for them to qualify.
But 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.