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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

UPSC protests now take political turn

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 26, 2014
First Published: 19:45 IST(26/7/2014) | Last Updated: 08:07 IST(27/7/2014)

As the protest against the Union Public Service Commission’s Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) continued, traffic diversions were made in New Delhi on Saturday.

No incident of violence was reported from any part of the city, police said.

The UPSC aspirants on Saturday organized a protest outside the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) office at Jhandewalan on Saturday. However, due to adequate police arrangements, the protesters were sent away.

On Thursday night, more than 2,000 protesters had attempted to torch a PCR vehicle, Himachal Roadways bus and a motorcycle following a clash that broke out between them and the police on Outer Ring Road. The protesters had blocked the movement of traffic on the outer ring road. Police had to use mild laathicharge to disperse the demonstrators who got agitated and resorted to stone pelting and damaging vehicles.

The civil services aspirants have been demanding scrapping of CSAT— the newly-introduced attitudinal test for the civil services examinations. Protesters demanded that such changes in the examination patterns introduced on short duration affect preparations of aspirants who have been trying to crack the exams for years.

The CSAT-II paper carries questions on comprehension, interpersonal skills including communication skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision-making and problem-solving, general mental ability, basic numeracy, and English language comprehension skills (of Class 10 level).

The political parties were quick to capitalise on the issue. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) blamed the UPSC for mishandling the issue.

“The UPSC has mishandled the situation beyond any reasonable understanding and allowed the confusion to prevail for a long time. It must take responsibility for prevailing chaos and the commission needs to break its silence and assure the civil services aspirants that their rights will not be affected,” read a statement issued by the party.

Scores of NSUI activists also staged a dharna at Jantar Mantar in protest against the issuance of admit card to applicants by UPSC, demanding the scrapping of CSAT.

Protestors led by NSUI national general secretary Mohit Sharma and Delhi state president Vikas Chhikara also raised slogans against UPSC and central Government during the dharna.

Delhi Congress president Arvinder Singh, who was also present at the protest venue, blamed the BJP government for turning its back on all the issues it had raised before the elections.“The BJP government is proving to be a U-turn government. They are backing away from all their promises. Why were the admit cards issued by UPSC if the students had been promised something else? If the students had not protested then nothing would have been done. NSUI is protesting today and I am here to show my solidarity,” said Singh.


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