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Protest against UPSC test

Hundreds of civil service aspirants today staged a sit-in demonstration on Morabadi Road in Ranchi, barely 200m from chief minister Hemant Soren’s residence on Kanke Road, protesting against the new syllabus of Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC) and Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

A large contingent of police personnel was deployed to keep away the agitating students who were insisting on meeting the chief minister with their four-point charter of demands.

Their main demand was to change the pattern of the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) to give a level-playing field to those coming from rural areas. Other demands included raising the age limit for general candidates to 40 years, strict implementation of reservation policy and removing limits on the number of attempts for backward students.

Protesting under the banners of Jharkhand Adivasi Chhatra Sangh, Jharkhand Chhatra Sangh and Chhatra Jagaran Manch, the aspirants also handed over to the Ranchi district administration a memorandum addressed to the chief minister, JPSC chairman and all state cabinet ministers.

Later, a delegation of students, comprising Manoj Kumar Yadav, Satish Kumar Bhagat, Ajay Choudhary and Ritesh Mahto, met Hemant to raise their concerns. The chief minister promised to look into the matter, they said.

According to the agitators, CSAT, which the JPSC introduced last year following the UPSC pattern, is against the interests of Jharkhand’s students.

Civil service aspirant and president Manoj Kumar Yadav said, “CSAT is a conspiracy to eliminate poor tribal students who come from Hindi medium schools.”

One of the candidates, Arvind Kumar, who cleared the 5th JPSC (prelims), said, “The new CSAT system has reduced the chances of tribal students to get selected. Earlier, they could select any of the nine tribal languages in the examination. Now, it has been scrapped,” he said.

The CSAT, they alleged, was heavily biased towards convent educated students.

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