This refers to the report that the Union Public Service Commission notification making proficiency in English a requirement for IAS aspirants has been put on hold. The government should have thought of the pros and cons of the new rule before approving the notification. As it is, the notification was delayed by a month and, to make matters worse, the government is dilly-dallying on its own decisions.

Going back on an approved policy to appease a few sections would set a wrong precedent. Withdrawing the notification two months ahead of the examination is indeed a callous move.

V. Harshita,

Ghaziabad

By introducing a few changes, the UPSC has taken a right step towards bringing the civil services examination in tune with the demands of 21st century administration.

What have caught public fancy are not some of the substantive changes to the syllabus, but the relatively minor provisions regarding English and regional languages. It seems that even after 65 years, the linguistic genie is at large. No matter how much we pretend otherwise, English has become the de facto administrative language of the country. Given that this examination produces men and women who occupy the highest echelons of administration, is it wrong to expect that they should have a reasonable command over the language?

Vishnu S. Menon,

Vaikom

The UPSC is trying to change its examination pattern according to the changing needs of the administration. The new syllabus for the main examination is welcome.

But the rule on language mediums will prove detrimental to students from rural areas. Although the curriculum is in English in villages, students are taught in regional languages. Language should not be a barrier for the progress of an aspirant.

Sumit Meshram,

Pune

Improvements in the recruitment process are welcome but changes cannot be made by discriminating one section of students against another. The UPSC should look at regional factors and ensure a level-playing field.

Manohar Singh Naik Khetavath,

New Delhi

The rule making it mandatory to crack a paper on English comprehension and précis dashes the hopes and dreams of students belonging to rural areas who have studied in Hindi medium schools. This may sound funny to the convent educated, English speaking world but it is a reality for those who have studied in “primary pathshalas” of the country. It is well known that students need at least one year to prepare for the civil service examination. It is almost impossible to prepare when the examination pattern is changed with just five-six months to go for the exams.

Aman Agarwal,

Noida

It is indeed a pity that some politicians are making the refreshing changes a fight between English and regional languages. They miss the important point that the changes seek to bring more scope for general studies which administrators should possess.

Hari Arayammakul

Kozhikode

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