The government is mulling doing away with compulsory English language examination at mains level in the prestigious civil services test conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
The Centre's move to make English language proficiency mandatory for qualifying the examinations had come under attack from its allies and opponents including SP, RJD, Left parties, Akali Dal, National Conference, AIADMK, DMK and BJP, forcing it on Friday to keep a notification in this regard in abeyance.
Earlier, the English test paper was only qualifying in nature and its marks were not added for selecting the candidate.
Sources in the ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions, which had taken out the notification after consultation with the UPSC, said it was planning to introduce a new format for the mains exams by removing the compulsory requirement of qualifying in the Queen's language and its marks may also not be added for final selection of candidates.
A meeting will be called soon with the officials of UPSC, which conducts the civil services exams to choose candidates for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Forest Service (IFoS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) among others, to discuss the road map and take a final decision in this regard, they said.
However, keeping the notification in abeyance will not effect civil services preliminary examination scheduled to be held on May 26.