Union Public Service Commissions (UPSC) civil services examination aspirants, protesting against the C-SAT at Rajpath, in New Delhi (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)
Amidst mounting protests over the change in the pattern of UPSC exams, which came into force since 2011, the Government on Friday said it has asked a three-member panel looking into the matter to submit its report within a week.
Minister of state for personnel Jitendra Singh also informed that Rajya Sabha that issuing of admit card which began from Thursday will not in any way influence the decision that Government will take.
"Let the report come, we will look into what kind of a report it is. The future course of action will depend on it," Singh said after entire opposition created uproar in the Upper House, forcing two adjournments during the question hour.
Members, cutting across party lines, demanded a timeline for resolution of the issue and raised concerns over falling success rate of language students in UPSC exam. The aspirants are protesting against the pattern of Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) in the UPSC exams that they believe gives an unfair advantage to English-speaking students while leaving Hindi and regional language aspirants at a disadvantage. They want the CSAT to be scrapped.
"I myself not in favour nor is the Government in favour of any injustice done to any group of students on the basis of language," Singh said in the Rajya Sabha.
Read: Civil service aspirants step up protest, march to Parliament
The government also sought to steer itself clear of the controversy over issuing of admit cards, by saying it was done by the UPSE which is a 'separate' body that follows a particular calendar for holding the civil services examination.
Singh also blamed the previous UPA government for the mess and said the matter had come to light after a PIL and the UPA government took cognisance of the issue only after directions from a High Court judge in 2011.
Earlier, the Opposition created a ruckus in both the Houses over the issue. Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice during Question Hour following Opposition's demand for a clarification by no other than the Prime Minister or the Leader of the House on the issue. The matter figured in Lok Sabha too though it did not lead to any adjournment.
Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said discrimination was happening to language students in the UPSC exam and the number of those from Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and other languages successful in the exam was going down drastically while those with English have almost doubled.
Derek 'O' Brien (Trinamool Congress) said this was not an issue of English versus Hindi but concerns all regional languages. S Muthukaruppan (AIADMK) said UPSC aspirants should be allowed to write their exam papers in all Indian languages.
Mukhatar Abbas Naqvi (BJP) said the demand of the agitating students is justified and so is their anger and regretted that the knowledge of people today is measured on the basis of whether he or she can speak English or not.