With the UPSC examination row now simmering, the marks obtained for questions on English language comprehension skills, asked in second paper of the civil services (preliminary) examination, will not be included for grading, according to a notification issued by the Centre.
"The merit on the basis of preliminary examination shall be drawn using aggregate marks obtained in Paper-I out of 200 and marks obtained in Paper-II out of 200 minus the total of the marks allocated to the questions on English language comprehension skills," the notification said.
There are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each in the civil services preliminary examination. These papers are also known as CSAT I and CSAT II (Civil Services Aptitude Test).
This year's civil services preliminary examination is scheduled to be held on Sunday.
The notification, issued by the Department of Personnel and Training, makes it clear for the candidates not to attempt nine questions of 22.5 marks asked in the English section of the prelims' second paper.
"Questions relating to English language comprehension skills of class X level, which are printed in English only, shall not be evaluated for gradation or merit and therefore, need not be attempted by the candidates," it said.
A controversy had recently erupted over the pattern of civil services preliminary examination as students demanding change in the pattern of Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), Paper II had taken to the streets waging a violent agitation.
Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh had on August 4 also said in Parliament that English section marks will not be included for gradation or merit in civil services exam.
The CSAT-II paper 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).