New Delhi: 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 say 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 Union Public Service Commission (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 Government refused to set a time-line for resolving the issue.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prakash Javadekar also came under sharp attack in Rajya Sabha from the Opposition which demanded an apology from him after he allegedly "instigated" members of the treasury benches to protest when the issue was raised. Opposition members created uproar over the issue in both Houses leading to adjournment of Rajya Sabha thrice before lunch.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said government has taken the ongoing agitation by UPSC aspirants on the issue very seriously and is studying all aspects. "Government has taken the issue very seriously and is considering every aspect. The report has been given by the Committee on the issue only a day ago. The report is being studied. Government wants this to be resolved as soon as possible," Singh told the Rajya Sabha.
In the Lok Sabha, an agitated RJD member Rajesh Ranjan stormed the Well waving a newspaper while seeking a statement on the UPSC exam row and later tore the newspaper and threw it in the Well, with some landing on the Speaker's table. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan chided at him saying his behaviour in the House was not proper, forcing him to apologise, not once but twice.
In the Rajya Sabha when members pointed out that the seven-day time-frame set by the government to come out with a statement on the issue in the House had expired, Minister of State for Personnel Jitender Singh said, "Government has received the report today. It is a sensitive issue. There are different views on it. Give me time to study it."
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.