The decision of the Union Public Service Commission to make English a compulsory paper for civil service aspirants did not ruffle academics and wannabe bureaucrats in the city though it provoked a flurry of protest from the Members of Parliament.
According to the circular issued by the UPSC, the marks in English papers would be added to the final score of the aspiring civil servants. Earlier, it was only a qualifying paper in which they had to score a minimum of 33.
Despite the hullabaloo and accusations of elitism flying thick and fast, academics and students in the city said there was no need to lose sleep over the proposed change, which was put on hold by the Union government on Friday after protests.
“The circular states that the English section would have grammar and comprehension questions that Class X students would be able to answer. It won’t be very difficult,” said S. Neeraj, the director of Civil Service Centre — a coaching institute on Ashok Rajpath.
He added that there was nothing wrong in the proposal to make English compulsory. “Bureaucrats are posted in non-Hindi speaking states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, where English is widely spoken.”
Students, too, were by and large unperturbed. Patna University graduate Kumar Gaurav said: “It’s a good proposal. Books of many subjects are available in English.”
There were a few voices of demur, though. Ranveer Kumar, a passout of Nalanda Open University, said: “Students from rural areas will suffer if English is made compulsory, and those who study in city or English-medium schools will benefit.”
Teachers, however, felt that the students should first understand their syllabus. Amarjeet Jha, a teacher at Target Coaching Centre, said: “English is compulsory in all competitive exams like banking or defence. It won’t be a problem for civil servants either.”