Visually impaired candidates appearing for civil services preliminary examination will get 40 minutes extra time per paper, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) said on Tuesday.
"All the visually impaired category candidates appearing in the civil services preliminary examination, 2014 to be conducted by the UPSC on August 24 will be allowed an extra time of 20 minutes per hour for both Paper-I and Paper-II of the examination," the Commission said in a public notice.
Thus, the visually impaired category candidates will be allowed an extra time of 40 minutes for Paper I and also an extra time of 40 minutes for Paper II of the civil services preliminary examination, it said.
There are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each in the civil services preliminary examination. Candidates are given two-hour time per paper.
The announcement comes following a directive by Delhi High Court in this regard on August 19, the notice said.
In another public notice, the UPSC advised candidates not to attempt questions on English language comprehension skills asked in Paper II of the preliminary exam.
"The questions on English language comprehension skills (of Class X level) contained in each set of test booklets of Paper II are not to be attempted as these questions shall not be evaluated for gradation or merit," it said.
The civil services preliminary examination shall thus comprise of two compulsory papers of which Paper I will be of 200 marks and Paper II will be of 200 marks minus the maximum marks allocated to the question on English language comprehension skills, the UPSC said.
The final merit for qualifying candidates for the civil services (main) written examination will be drawn by using the aggregate marks obtained in Paper I out of 200 marks and marks obtained in Paper II out of 200 marks minus the maximum marks allocated to the question on English language comprehension skills (i.e. those question in Paper II for which Hindi translation has not been given), it said in the notice published in leading dailies.
A controversy had recently erupted over the pattern of civil services preliminary examination as students demanding change in the pattern of Paper II had taken to the streets.
Minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions Jitendra Singh had on August 4 said in Parliament that English section marks will not be included for gradation or merit in civil services exam.
Paper II 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 X level).
The Department of Personnel and Training has recently issued a notification on the change in the pattern of this year's civil services preliminary examination.
The prestigious civil services examination is conducted in three stages--preliminary, main and interview-- by the UPSC to select IAS, IFS and IPS officers among others.