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UPSC test pills rejected

New Delhi, March 21: The Centre has rejected most of the changes proposed to the civil services (main) examination days after keeping the reforms in abeyance following an uproar in Parliament.

The junior minister for personnel, public grievances and pension, V. Narayanasamy, today told the Rajya Sabha that the government had decided not to go ahead with the contentious suggestions.

Among the ideas rejected is the proposal to add a candidate’s marks in the General English paper to his overall score, so that a candidate’s performance in English counts in selection.

The government has also dropped the suggestion to allow a candidate to write the exam in a regional language of his choice only if (1) that language was the medium of instruction in his graduation programme and (2) at least 25 candidates opt to write the exam in that language.

The Union Public Service Commission had on March 5 issued a notification outlining these and other reforms to the civil services (main) examination from this year.

But the chief ministers of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu slammed the changes and MPs argued that these measures would deny a level-playing field to candidates from rural, impoverished and socially disadvantageous backgrounds.

Narayanasamy said the government had decided to restore status quo on the General English and Indian language papers. These papers will continue to carry 300 marks each and remain qualifying tests, which means the marks a candidate obtains in these papers will not be added to his overall score.

Also, a candidate will be allowed to write the exam in any of the 22 languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution or in English. Candidates can choose any of these 23 languages as their optional subject.