Protests over UPSC exam continue in parliament

 

New Delhi, Aug 5 : Protests over the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) continued in parliament Tuesday, a day after the government said the marks for English language comprehension skills would not be included in preparing the merit list. In the Rajya Sabha, members sought a debate over the issue, disrupting the question hour. Opposition members have alleged that the civil services examinations discriminate against students of regional languages.

Several members from non-Hindi speaking states said Monday there had been discrimination against regional languages and students should be allowed to write the UPSC exam in all national languages. As members agitated, an angry Chairman Hamid Ansari said he would not allow a debate without proper notice. As AIADMK members trooped near the chairman’s podium, Ansari told them to go back to their seats. When the members refused to relent, the chairman adjourned the house till noon.

When the house reassembled, opposition members were once again on their feet demanding a debate on the issue. ”The government has given a kneejerk reaction to agitating students. It is a counter-reaction,” Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien said. ”The announcement has made the matter more complex,” he said. DMK member Kanimozhi said regional languages have been “discriminated against”.

The government had earlier also said that those who gave the UPSC exam in 2011, will be given another chance in 2015. CPI-M member P. Rajeeve asked: “What about those who gave exam in 2012, and 2013… and what about the age limit.” Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien asked the members to give a proper notice, to which the members later agreed. The house then took up the zero hour.

In the Lok Sabha, Samajwadi Party member Dharmendra Yadav tried to raise the issue and pressed for suspension of the question hour. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, however, disallowed suspension of the question hour and said she would allow the issue to be discussed during zero hour. When the zero hour started, Yadav and other Samajwadi Party members as also Pappu Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal stood near the speaker’s podium and started raising slogans, demanding scrapping of the CSAT exam.

There was an uproar on other issues as well, and the house was adjourned till 12.30 p.m.. When the house met at 12.30 p.m., similar scenes were witnessed. Members from the Samajwadi Party and the Congress trooped near the speaker’s podium again and started shouting slogans of “We want justice” after which the house was again adjourned till 2 p.m. The house resumed at 2 p.m.