Upset over format change, UPSC aspirants want more attempts, age relaxation

November 08, 2013 12:00 am | Updated 05:32 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Say their plight is unheard by ministry, UPSC

“We are not against change, but against the way these changes have been brought in, putting thousands of us at a disadvantage,” says Manu Kumar Rajesurs, a civil servant aspirant who has used up all four attempts to appear for the exams.

He was at a disadvantage, he added, because of the “constant structural and content changes” in the exams and was one among the many aspirants who were present at the protest organised by the Jawaharlal Nehru Students’ Union here on Thursday.

“This is just one among many of the protests we have participated in, we have knocked on many doors too. Every time we go to the ministry, they say it is a UPSC matter and the UPSC in turn tell us to go to the ministry,” said Sunil Singh, who was just able to give two attempts.

“Previously when the changes were incorporated, there was an increase in the number of attempts as well as an increase in the age limit. This time, both the changes in 2011 as well as in 2013 have been disadvantageous to anyone who has given an attempt. There is also a very short notice, we usually spend years preparing for an exam and a notice of two months is simply not enough,” he added.

There are two simple demands that the aspirants want. One is to increase the age limit for the time being so that those disadvantaged by the changes can catch up and second that they be given another chance for three fresh attempts.

They have also said that the new pattern is discriminatory for those who come from rural backgrounds and those who cannot speak English. This sentiment echoed by the JNUSU has an additional demand – “The exclusion of “foreign languages” as optional subjects in the UPSC is ridiculous. Why exclude “foreign languages like Arabic, Persian, Russian, German, Spanish and Chinese which are taught in as many as twenty Indian Universities from UPSC subjects?” asked JNUSU president Akbar Chawdhary.

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