Students claim new UPSC norms unconstitutional

Amidst protest by various political parties in the city over the recent issue of Union Public Service Commission’s examinations, students are now uncertain about their future.

The board has almost sealed the fate of students preparing for the UPSC examinations by announcing the new eligibility criteria that requires candidates who wish to write their exams in the regional language to have graduated with that particular language as the medium of instruction.

A bolt from the sky: Aspiring UPSC candidates queue up to collect forms for the upcoming exam. Representation Pic

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Tuesday blackened boards across the city that carried Hindi script, while the Akhil Bharitya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a youth wing of BJP yesterday protested in front of the city based IAS coaching center against the board’s decision.

However, according to experts, this issue doesn’t belong to any particular political party and all the parties in the state should come together and pressurise the Union Government to take back the board’s decision.

Sudarshan Bhingare, who has been preparing for the civil services exams for the last three years, said that the decision by the board had hit him like a bolt from the sky.

“I did my graduation in English literature but wanted to appear for the main exam of UPSC in Marathi medium,” said Bhingare who came to the city from Pandharpur to prepare for the examinations. Bhingare feels that it would be difficult for him to express himself in English.

Avinash Patil, who came to Pune from Sindhudurg, a small village near coastal Maharashtra, wanting to become an IAS officer, said that he would have to take a one-year break in order to prepare for the civil services exams in English.

“The exam is already assumed as one of the toughest examinations in the country and these new eligibility norms only make it difficult,” said Patil.

He expressed displeasure over the board’s decision to allow students to appear for examinations in regional language only if they are 25 or more in numbers. “Ironically, the students will get to know their fate only after they receive their hall tickets,” said Patil.

The Sub-Divisional Police Officer at Kaziranga in Assam, Vaibhav Nimbalkar who did his graduation in Mathematics but opted for Marathi literature for the main examination of UPSC in 2008, said the new decision taken by the board is against the constitutional spirit, that has granted equal status to all Indian languages.

Former IAS officer and founder director of Chankya Mandal-IAS coaching academy, Avinash Dharmadhikari called the new announcement as unconstitutional and the most arbitrary ever.

“The decision shows lack of knowledge of the entire examination system,” said Dharmadhikari. He added that the board wants to make setting and checking of papers easier and convenient hoping that these would only be in two languages.

While, head of Unique Academy, Tukaram Jadhav said that the students from Northeast region of the country would suffer the most due to these new eligibility criteria. 

New eligibility criteria
1) Only those candidates who have had their graduation in regional language, can opt for that particular language as a medium to answer all the question papers.

2) Only those candidates who have graduated in literature of a certain language are allowed to opt for the said subject in the main exam.

3) A minimum number of 25 candidates must opt for a specific regional language as a medium for answering the question papers for the board to allow the same. 

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