|UPSC Headquarters in Delhi|
they have argued the move would be detrimental to the interests of candidates hailing from rural backgrounds and those who wish to write the examinations in regional languages. In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, DMK’s Karunanidhi even accused the Central government of using it as a ploy to impose Hindi. “This is a serious violation of the assurance given by Pandit (Jawaharlal) Nehru to our nation,” his letter to PM said.
First, let’s have a look at the contentious provisions of the changed UPSC Mains pattern, which is the step-II to qualify for senior bureaucracy like IAS, IFS, IPS, IRS etc. Those who qualify the preliminary exams can appear for the Mains. The interview is the final stage.
The changed version of UPSC Mains examination which has PM’s nod, has imposed a restriction on choosing a regional language to write the exams. A candidate can now write in regional language only when there are minimum of 25 candidates appearing from the same language. It's argued that the move would give a big blow to those candidates who are knowledgeable, yet don't have a good command over Hindi or English. Secondly, the candidates will now have to write a compulsory English paper of 100 marks. It’s not just for qualification, as the marks obtained in that mini-paper will be counted. The government officials framing the new provisions argue that in a total of 2075 marks, the weightage of English will be insignificant at less than 5%, but as MP chief minister Chouhan argued, it would have a fallout on prospects of rural and tribal aspirants, giving a political twist to the entire debate.
Raj Thackeray too has joined the debate asking Maharashtra MPs to oppose the move. He said “monopoly” of English was not desirable. Raj argued that applicants from Maharashtra must have the opportunity to answer the exams in Marathi.
On Tuesday, a small group of protesters landed up at Dholpur House, the headquarters of the UPSC located in Delhi’s Shahjahan Road, shouting slogans against what they say is rural-urban divide. BoI welcomes an informed and objective debate on the subject.