Aspirants seem to protest outside the office of Union Public Service Commission at Shah Jahan road, New Delhi. The aspirants demand the number of attempts in the exam to increase. They also said that they could not qualify the exam earlier because the paper of Civil Services was discriminatory in nature. This is the reason the aspirants are forcing the department to increase the number of attempts.
An aspirant, Pranav Kumar said, “The protest is against the loss of attempts of the aspirants due to the discriminatory nature of CSAT exam which was introduced in the Civil Service Examination from 2011. Due to the discriminatory nature of CSAT from 2011 up till 2014, many serious candidates had suffered the loss and thereby exhausted their attempts even though the government increased the number of possible attempts.”
He further added, “The statistics of UPSC show that the CSAT paper had mostly affected candidates from a rural background and those taught in regional languages and Hindi. The number of Humanities students taking the exam has also gradually reduced over the years.”
Another aspirant said, “All the affected candidates from 2011 to 2015 should be provided with compensatory attempts. Bring in transparency in the whole process of Civil Service examinations. There should be a level playing field for all aspirants across the country, irrespective of their background. We are just asking for an opportunity to appear in the exam again.”
Last year, many UPSC aspirants started the #fightUPSC campaign. They also submitted a joint MoU to the Prime Minister’s Office and Department of Personnel and Training, demanding three fresh attempts for all the aspirants who took the civil services exam from 2011 to 2015.
Last year, the government decided to make CSAT a qualifying paper and this came as huge relief to the candidates. As of now, a candidate belonging to General category can appear 6 times for the exam, OBC candidates 7 times, while there is no such limit for SC/ST candidates. The age limit for general candidates is 32 years. There is a three-year relaxation in upper age limit for OBC candidates and five-year relaxation for SC/ST candidates. (Read here: UPSC to change upper age limit for Civil Services Exam)
All the Civil Services aspirants say that they lost five years and five attempts because of a discriminatory CSAT paper.