The Civil Services preliminary examination, which were mired in controversy after students held widespread protests demanding a change in its pattern, is being held today at various centres across the country.
The preliminary examination consist of two papers (Paper I and Paper II) of two hours duration each.The first paper began at 9:30 AM and there were no report of any protest outside any examination centre.
About nine lakh students have applied for the examination which is being held at various centres across the country.
A controversy had recently erupted over the pattern of examination as students demanding change in the pattern of Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) or Paper II, had taken to the streets waging a violent agitation.
In the wake of the protests, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh had on August 4 said in Parliament that marks of the English section questions, asked in Paper II, will not be included for gradation or merit in civil services exam.
The Paper 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).
However, a group of students said they will continue with the protest
"We are against the pattern of Civil Services examination. We want a change in its pattern," said Sampoornanda, who is part of a students movement 'Nagrik Adhikaar Manch' for the cause.
Another aspirant, who had enrolled for the exam but did not take it, said, "We will not disturb the examination and those taking it.But we will continue with our demands of scrapping Paper II of the preliminary examination unless government's bring in necessary changes in it".
The prestigious Civil Services examination is conducted in three stages--preliminary, main and interview-- by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to select IAS, IFS and IPS officers among others.
Hearing an eleventh-hour petition filed by a group of protesting students, the Supreme Court had yesterday declined to postpone today's preliminary examination.