Under pressure, govt drops English paper from UPSC exam | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Under pressure, govt drops English paper from UPSC exam

The government on Thursday dropped the compulsory English paper of 100 marks and lifted restrictions on aspirants writing the civil services examination in regional languages, Aloke Tikku reports.

delhi Updated: Mar 22, 2013 02:23 IST
Aloke Tikku

The government on Thursday dropped the compulsory English paper of 100 marks and lifted restrictions on aspirants writing the civil services examination in regional languages.


The move – announced by minister of state for personnel V Narayanasamy in the Lok Sabha on Thursday – was triggered by MPs last week protesting changes that would put candidates from rural areas and non-Hindi speaking states.

Narayanasamy had last week promised to roll back all changes made to the civil services examination. But as reported by HT on Thursday, he finally went by the view at the Union Public Service Commission – which had the backing of the Prime Minister’s Office – to just reverse the contentious language changes.

In its final form to be notified by UPSC by Friday, aspirants who clear the first tier preliminary examination would have to take one optional subject – not two – at the second-tier CSE (Mains). They can also take literature of any notified regional language, irrespective of their subject in graduation but subjects such as Pali – a favourite of many candidates – would still not be on offer.

About 5 lakh candidates had applied for the exams last year. Only half of them, however, appeared. About 11,000 of them would be asked to write the CSE (Mains) examination.

In his statement in the Lok Sabha, Narayanasamy said 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.

The essay paper, however, would now be of 250 marks to be written in the medium or language of the candidate's choice.

Candidates would also be allowed to write the exam in any one regional language or English, irrespective of the number of candidates. The UPSC had earlier managed to push through a rule that allowed candidates to write the exam in a regional language only if a minimum of 25 candidates wanted it.

“This was a very silly provision... it meant that a candidate who prepared in a regional language for a year or two could be told at the last moment to write the exam in English or Hindi because only 24 – and not 25 – candidates intended to use the same language,” a government official said.