‘UPSC Exam format Changes’ put on hold | What is the controversy?

‘UPSC Exam format Changes’ put on hold | What is the controversy?

All-around, vocal opposition by political parties to changes in the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) exam format has compelled the Government to put the changes on hold.

What is the controversy all about?

The new changes to UPSC exam format (the exam for the recruitment to elite services like IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS etc.)give added weight to English and impose certain conditions on candidates appearing in regional languages.

For instance, the order barred the candidates from taking the exam in their mother tongues if they have not studied in college in that medium of instruction. The change fiercely opposed by Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Punjab.

The order also meant that candidates appearing in English of Hindi cannot attempt papers like Pali, seen as a high-scoring option that disadvantages other candidates. Those opting for a regional language as medium of examination would be able to do so only if they had studied at the college level in the language.

Another change which disappointed many candidates was the restriction that a minimum of 25 candidates will be needed for an exam centre to conduct tests in a particular regional language. Many candidates are their MPs in the parliament saw this move as a disadvantage to students from rural backgrounds.

The Union government sources in a defense to the changes in UPSC Exam Format argued that the weight given to English is just 100 marks out of 1800 and that this was needed as the writing skills of recruits is plummeting.

Responding to angry speeches, the minister for personnel and training V Narayanasamy said the order will be kept in abeyance.