The Centre will keep in abeyance the Union Public Service Commission’s March 5 notification making proficiency in English a requirement for IAS aspirants and maintain “status quo ante,” Minister of State for Personnel and Training V. Narayanasamy informed the Lok Sabha on Friday.
“The government will call a meeting of the UPSC and resolve the issue. Meanwhile, taking into consideration the views expressed by the members [of Parliament], we will keep the notification in abeyance and the status quo ante will be maintained,” he said, as the members, cutting across party lines, protested against the notification, which lists four conditions for writing the main examination in regional languages.
The members said the order was “unfair and discriminatory” and would go against the aspirants from non-Hindi speaking States.
The Lok Sabha witnessed three adjournments, as the Opposition sought a discussion and immediate withdrawal of the notification.
Some members demanded that the officials responsible for issuing the “unconstitutional” notification be punished. Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal (United) even sought that impeachment proceedings be initiated against the UPSC Chairman, a constitutional post.
A conspiracy, says Lalu
Lalu Prasad of the Rashtriya Janata Dal termed the move a “conspiracy” against the weaker sections. The UPSC might be a constitutional body but it was not above the government and Parliament, he said, demanding that the notification be revoked.
Gopinath Munde of the BJP said the notification amounted to “injustice” to Indian languages and the backward classes.
V. Arunkumar of the Congress said the changes brought about by the notification were not in the interests of anyone. “It is wrong to show that only the English-speaking people are wise.”
T.K.S. Elangovan of the DMK, M. Thambi Durai of the AIADMK, Gurudas Dasgupta of the CPI, Basudeb Acharya of the CPI(M) and Dharmendra Yadav of the SP accused the UPSC of ‘bias’ against those writing the examination in regional languages.