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UPSC's new exam format: Get your FACTS right!

Last updated on: March 12, 2013 08:42 IST

UPSC's new exam format: Get your FACTS right!

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Divya Nair

Ajit Padwal, founder, Lakshya IAS Academy, Mumbai decodes what the new paper holds for aspirants and tells us why the UPSC, barring a few exceptions, has mostly got it right.

On March 7, several television channels and a few other national dailies reported why the new Union Public Service Commission exam for Civil Services will prove unfair to students from the vernacular medium.

Things took a political turn in Maharashtra when a couple fo political parties took it upon themselves to render justice to students appearing for the exam from Marathi medium.

A few Lok Sabha members have also sought government intervention to make things clear for the sake of students.

Ajit Padwal, founder, Lakshya Academy Mumbai tells us why students will mostly benefit from the new format.

Dear Readers, do you welcome the new changes approved by the UPSC? What is it that you like about the new format? Do you think the new rules are unfair to regional language students? If yes, why and if not, why not? Share your views in the messageboard below!

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All regional language students will not be affected

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As claimed by many, all regional language students will not be affected by the new format.

Let me share a few facts with you.

The new rule states that students can still appear for the UPSC exam in a regional language of their choice, provided they have done their graduation in the same language.

According to the old paper, students irrespective of the language they graduated in could choose to appear for the exam in the language of their choice, which according to the new format is not possible.

This may upset a few students who did their graduation from an English medium college and had aspired to take the exam in a regional language.

In their perspective, perhaps this rule could have been implemented three years from now.


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Simple English paper

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The new exam has also done away with a 300-mark additional paper in regional language which was in any case optional and attached no importance to the final selection.

Until last year, the UPSC exam had two language papers for 300 marks each of which English was a compulsory language.

However, from 2013 onwards students have to appear for only one language paper, which is in English.

The optional regional language paper has been done away with.

This is in my opinion should be seen as a welcome move, because it has reduced the stress for students.

Moreover, UPSC has clearly stated that the new English paper which will be for 100 marks and not 200 as it was earlier, will be of the matriculation level -- Class 10 that is, which should again not worry students from the vernacular medium.

I don't see a reason why a graduate from any language will complain about the difficulty level of the paper.

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So, what's the real concern?

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What is really upsetting is that among those who have expressed their opinion everyone has failed to bring up the main issue, the real issue -- why and how the new rule could possibly upset regional language takers.

The new rule says that a minimum of 25 students would be required for the UPSC to be able to conduct examination in a given regional language.

This means that if there are less than 25 students, these candidates will have to take the exam in English or Hindi.

For students from certain North-eastern states, Orissa or Goa for that matter, this decision can be unfair.

What is the student's fault if there are less than 25 students who want to take the exam in a regional language?

The UPSC has to respect the student's choice and accommodate it unconditionally.

As it is you have included a clause that those who haven't graduated in a regional language cannot write the exam in his/her regional language.

You have already robbed him/her of that freedom, so why curb it further by adding this additional clause?


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Unreasonable rules

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On one side you are trying to reduce the burden of these students, on the other hand, you are enforcing unreasonable rules on the candidate.

Perhaps, those who are protesting against the new exam should highlight these issues than raising political debates on unnecessary issues.

I'd request people in the media and those in power to first get their facts right!

Dear Readers, do you welcome the new changes approved by the UPSC? What is it that you like about the new format? Do you think the new rules are unfair to regional language students? If yes, why and if not, why not? Share your views in the messageboard below!


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