The Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh sought to calm frayed tempers in Parliament, saying the government is looking at the issue with ‘all seriousness’ and sensitivity and that a three-member panel set up in this regard was again asked to submit its report within a week.

"Government is not in favour of any injustice to students on the basis of language," Jitendra Singh told the Rajya Sabha which was adjourned twice during Question Hour following Opposition's demand for a clarification by none other than the Prime Minister or the Leader of the House on the issue.

Members, cutting across party lines, demanded a timeline for resolution of the issue and raised concerns over falling success rate of language students in UPSC exam.

Singh while speaking to reporters appealed to the aspirants to be "patient", saying the government and the Prime Minister are more concerned than the agitating students and are trying to find a "satisfactory solution."

Sharad Yadav (JD-U) alleged in the Rajya Sabha that language students are facing discrimination in UPSC exams while SP's Mulayam Singh Yadav asked the Speaker in the Lok Sabha to allow a discussion on the issue.

The aspirants are protesting against the pattern of Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) in the UPSC exams that they believe gives an unfair advantage to English-speaking students while leaving Hindi and regional language aspirants at a disadvantage. They want the CSAT to be scrapped.

The protesting aspirants, some of whom carried playcards decrying the UPSC, were stopped from marching to Parliament which was in session.

The protests were intensified afteer the Union Public Service Commission(UPSC) issued admit cards on Thursday for the preliminary entrance exam scheduled on August 24.

The aspirants agitating against 'language discrimination' tried to march towards Parliament but were stopped by the police which later took them into preventive custody.

The protestors, who had clashed with the police last night in North Delhi, were stopped outside Central Secretariat metro station from where they were taken to Parliament Street Police Station.

"We have detained around 150 protesters. Necessary preventive action will be taken if needed," said a senior Delhi Police official.

Two metro stations Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhavan were shut briefly to prevent the protesters from reaching anywhere near Parliament House.

The protesters claimed that the current format discriminates against those who are not proficient in English.

"We have got assurances in the past but nothing happened. Yesterday, we were issued our admit cards and now on 24th (of August) we have our papers. We want something to be done immediately," said a protester.



-UPSC will hold preliminary exam on August 24.

-UPSC conducts civil services examination to select IAS, IFS and IPS officers.

-The civil services examination is conducted in three stages-- preliminary, main, and interview-- to choose candidates IAS, IFS and IPS among others.

-A three-member government appointed committee is looking into the demands of civil services aspirants to change the pattern CSAT to give level-playing field to those coming from rural areas.
-Government earlier urged the UPSC to postpone preliminary exam in view of the students’ demand of scrapping CSAT.

-There are two compulsory papers (CSAT I and CSAT II) of 200 marks each in the preliminary examination.

-The CSAT-II carries questions on comprehension, interpersonal skills including communication skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision-making and problem- solving, general mental ability, basic numeracy, and English language comprehension skills (of Class X level).
-Students have been objecting to the level of aptitude and English language questions being asked in the CSAT II paper claiming they are much above the standard prescribed for the examination.

10 cops injured in clash with UPSC aspirants, vehicles burnt

Hundreds of Civil Services aspirants last night clashed with police, set several vehicles including a police jeep on fire and indulged in stone-pelting in North Delhi's Burari area, leaving at least 10 policemen injured.
According to Joint Commissioner of Police Sandeep Goel, the incident took place around 8.30 PM when about 500 to 700 protesters tried to block the main highway by-pass road, demanding scrapping of Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT).
"A police jeep was set on fire. One Roadways bus was partially burnt in the incident along with some bikes and cars. Police used force to disperse them from main roads," Goel said, adding, at least 10 policemen were injured in the incident.
Police resorted to use of tear gas and lathicharge to disperse the protesters.
Deputy commissioner of police (North) Madhur Verma said some Kanwariya pilgrims camping on the route helped police control the protesters.
Police have detained 20 protesters and charged them with rioting, damaging public property, preventing public servants from performing their duty and assault.
According to Delhi Fire services, a call was received about a police jeep being set on fire at 8:50 PM following which two fire tenders were rushed to the spot. The situation is under control now and traffic on the route has been opened, police said.

Those detained in connection with the clash have later been arrested, said a police officer.

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