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Govt formula is a cruel joke on the students; aimed at misleading protestors

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) outrightly rejects the formula proposed by the central government in the Parliament on Monday to buy peace with the students protesting against the UPSC discrimination in the Civil Services preliminary examination.

The government’s formula, after so many days of dilly dallying is nothing but a cruel joke on the civil services aspirants, who were subjected to repeated police brutality, only to be finally fooled.    

The BJP government’s announcement is only an attempt to distract and kill this movement for reforms in the civil services examination through trivial sops.

The spontaneous movement of students had two fundamental points – first, that the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) discriminates against students from the humanities and social sciences background.

The nature and weightage of reasoning and quantitative skill related items in the CSAT have a systematic bias in the favour of students with engineering and science background. This is why the proportion of engineers and managers in the list of finally selected candidates has shot up in the last three years.

The government’s announcement in the Parliament, therefore, does not address this fundamental grievance of the protesting student aspirants at all.

The second fundamental problem was about privileging of English in multiple ways at different stages of the Civil Services examination. The government’s announcement addresses one of the least consequential aspects of this discrimination and has left the rest unattended.

The government has not addressed the basic objection about linguistic skills being tested only through English. It has also not addressed other fundamental objections about privileging English in multiple ways – modern answer paper is only in English, level of qualifying paper in English is much higher than qualifying paper in Indian languages, leading to a clear bias against Indian languages.

As a result of this bias, the proportion of students opting for Indian languages as a medium of instruction, being selected has dropped substantially after 2011. (Since CSAT was introduced)

The government has conceded one of the small but urgent demands by the students, namely that the students of 2011 batch should be given another chance in 2015, but the equally pressing demand for postponement of the preliminary examination for this year, beginning onAugust 24, has not been accepted.

The AAP deplores the insensitivity with which the government has responded to the ongoing justified movement of students against UPSC discrimination in the civil services examination.

The party calls upon the students and youth of the country to come forward intensify this struggle till the government concedes some of the principal demands of the students.

The AAP appeals that the movement should remain peaceful at all costs and any attempt by mischievous elements to instigate violence must be strongly rebuffed and such elements must be isolated and exposed.  


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