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Centre asks UPSC aspirants for patience, protests continue

Posted on Jul 25 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, July 25 : The government Friday appealed to the UPSC aspirants to be patient about their demand for scrapping the Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT), adding that no injustice will be done to them.

The civil services aspirants, however, held fresh protests here, and nearly 150 of them were detained while trying to march to parliament.

Making a statement in the Rajya Sabha Friday, Minister of State for Personnel and Public Grievances Jitendra Singh said the three-member committee constituted in March last year has been directed to submit its report in a week's time.

The reaction followed violent protests Thursday by those seeking to appear in Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) civil services examinations. Students burnt a bus, a police van and a motor-bike in Mukherjee Nagar area in north Delhi.

As many as 20 people have been arrested.

"The candidates will not suffer and the issuance of admit cards should not be a worry," the minister said in the house.

Despite the minister's clarification, the opposition continued to protest and the upper house was adjourned till 2.30 p.m.

Earlier, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice during the question hour following the opposition's demand for a clarification by none other than the prime minister or Leader of the House on the issue.

The matter figured in the Lok Sabha too though it did not lead to any adjournment.

"This is not just an issue of Hindi, but all regional languages," Congress member in the Lok Sabha Ranjeet Ranjan said. Members expressed their concern in the upper house as well.

Jitendra Singh, talking to reporters outside parliament earlier, said: "The government has full sympathy with the students, and there is also a clarity that under any situation injustice would not be meted out to the students, especially on the basis of a language. We will quickly find a solution to it".

The aspirants have been demanding the the CSAT be scrapped as they term it discriminatory.

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).

Students have been objecting to the level of aptitude and English language questions being asked in the CSAT II paper, claiming they are much above the standard prescribed for the examination.

"We would also like to request and appeal to the students to maintain calm as the government too is worried about the issue. The decisions will be taken on the basis of the committee's report," added Singh.

The protest intensified after UPSC started issuing admit cards to the aspirants for the preliminary exam scheduled to be held Aug 24.

The minister has also assured that issuing of admit cards does not indicate that it would influence the report of the three-member committee.

The national capital witnessed fresh protests Friday and nearly 150 aspirants were detained while they were trying to march towards parliament, police said.

"We will continue our protest until we get a written assurance that the examination date will be extended and the CSAT exam will be scrapped," Anurag Chaturvedi, an aspirant, told IANS.

He added the students have wasted a lot of time because of the ongoing protests and cannot prepare for the Aug 20 examination in 25 days.

Another aspirant, R.V. Yadav added: "Hindi is our national language and it is being sidelined. Students who know regional language feel handicapped."

Thousands of commuters Friday faced a harrowing time as the Delhi Metro shut two of its busy stations for more than two hours following a protest by UPSC aspirants.

The Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhavan Metro stations, both on the yellow line, were closed from 12.45 p.m. till 3 p.m.

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