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UPSC panel to review language rule for exams

If you are planning to appear for the civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) next year, you might have an option to write the main exam in English, but give the interview in the language of your choice.

mumbai Updated: Mar 16, 2011 01:38 IST
HT Correspondent

If you are planning to appear for the civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) next year, you might have an option to write the main exam in English, but give the interview in the language of your choice.

Currently, candidates who write the papers in English have to give the interview in the same language, while those who write the papers in regional languages are given an option to give the interview either in the same regional language or in English.

The UPSC, on Tuesday, informed the Bombay High Court that it had set up an expert committee to examine if candidates writing the civil services (main) examination in English could give the interview for the personal test in any of the regional languages.

UPSC counsel Rui Rodrigues submitted that applications would be invited for the next civil services examination in mid-August and the committee is expected to submit its report by then.

But, the division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice SJ Vazifdar directed the committee to submit its report preferably within three months because students prepare for the examination more than a year in advance.

Rodrigues said the committee, headed by professor BB Bhattacharya, former vice-chancellor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, comprises five members, including an educational administrator, a psychologist and an expert in linguistics.

The committee had been set up after Mira Road resident Chitranjan Kumar, who had appeared for the civil services examination in 2008, filed a public interest litigation, contended that the rule gave an unfair advantage to elite class, which generally has English as a medium of instruction.

At the same time, the rule deprived thousands of candidates from rural and socially backward areas because they find it difficult to communicate in English, though they could write in the language.