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UPSC preliminary examination to be held as scheduled

PTI 04 Aug 2014, 21:20:56 PM IST
New Delhi: The civil services preliminary examination will be held as scheduled on August 24 with the changes announced by government in Parliament today including non-inclusion of English marks in gradation of candidates. The move comes despite demands by some protesting studentsto postpone the preliminary exam until the new pattern was adopted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The examination will be held as per schedule and the UPSC, which conducts the prestigious test, will incorporate all the changes announced by the government today in Parliament, official sources said.

Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said earlier today in Parliament that one more attempt will be given next year to students who had appeared in 2011 civil services examination.

“English marks will not be included for gradation or merit in UPSC exam,” Singh said, in an attempt to defuse the protest by the students demanding that the test's pattern be changed.

The Varma Committee, which went through various issues related to the exams, has recommended not to postpone the date of the examination, they said.

Protesting students have been objecting to the level of aptitude and English language questions being asked in the civil services preliminary examination claiming they are much above the prescribed standard mentioned in the test course.

There are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each in the civil services preliminary examination. These papers are also known as CSAT I and CSAT II.

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 X level).

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

The UPSC has started issued admit cards to the aspirants for the August 24 preliminary exam.

The three-member Varma Committee was formed in March this year to look into various issues involving the exams. The committee also had as members serving IAS officers R K Gupta and P K Das. R K Gupta is working as Principal Secretary to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor and P K Das is Joint Secretary in Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

The Committee's chairman Arvind Varma is a retired IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre. He has served as DoPT Secretary between September 30, 1996 and November 30, 1998.