Government Gives In on Civil Services Exam: All You Need to Know



New Delhi:  A 20-mark English section in a civil services examination paper will not be included for grades or merit and candidates who appeared in 2011 will get a second chance to appear for the exam next year, the government announced today, seeking to pacify protesting students.

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"The government is of the opinion that in the Civil Services Preliminary examination, Paper II, the marks of the question section on 'English language comprehension skills' should not be included for gradation or merit," Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Personnel said in a brief statement in the Lok Sabha today.

Mr Singh also said that "candidates, who appeared in Civil Services Examination 2011, may be given one more attempt in 2015." The CSAT or Civil Services Aptitude Test, of which the English section is a part, was introduced in 2011.

Earlier in the day, the Opposition stepped up its attack on the government over the exam row, demanding a resolution soon. Both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have seen adjournments several times over the issue in the last few days.

Top BJP leaders have met the protesting students. The ruling party's student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad or ABVP, has joined the protests too.

Hundreds of civil service aspirants have been protesting on the streets of Delhi and elsewhere demanding that this year's CSAT exam scheduled on August 24 be postponed. That examination will, however, be held.

The protesters want the test scrapped, alleging that it puts those who have had Hindi or regional languages as the medium of instruction at a disadvantage.

The protests intensified last week after the Union Public Service Commission or UPSC, which conducts the exam, issued admit cards for the preliminary entrance exam. Students allege that the exam was to be held in September but was advanced to August.

The Congress and other parties say since the new pattern was introduced, the number of non-English speaking candidates who make it to the civil services has dropped sharply.

There are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each in the preliminary examination -  CSAT I and CSAT II. The latter 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 the 20-mark English language comprehension skills of Class X level.

The civil services examination is conducted by the UPSC in three stages -- preliminary, main, and interview -- to choose candidates for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) among others. NDTV

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