Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fair chance in UPSC prelims to the Language students.


That the petitioners herein are aggrieved by the illegal, unjust, regressive and unequal policy/measure framed by the UPSC vide notification …………. dated 19.02.2011 to confer extra benefits to the candidates taking the UPSC examination in English medium and thereby hindering the chances of those who choose Hindi or other Indian languages as a medium of taking the UPSC exam.

The petitioners herein are challenging the decision of the Central Government to modify the paper for the Preliminary Examination for Civil Services of the Union. Upto 2010, the candidates had to answer two Objective type question papers; one for General Knowledge and one pertaining to a Subject of his choice. In the changed pattern effective from 2011 onwards, in place of the subject paper, the candidates for the 2011 examination had to take an Aptitude Test. This paper carried 200 marks and about 22.5 marks were allotted to ‘English Language Comprehension Skills’. We wish to submit that it should have been "Language Comprehension Skills" to e set in the lnguage which the candidate has been allowed to opt for the rest of the questions in the said paper.

It may be recalled that after independence, it was repeatedly asserted that the Civil Service Examination of the Union was open only to a microscopic minority of those who study through the English medium. The doors of government service were shut for those who had studied through the medium of an Indian language. It was rightly changed by allowing candidates to opt for any Indian Language. But the above notification is once again a retrograde step to give advantage of 22.5 marks when the success in the elimination round depends even on a fraction of mark.

The aforesaid act of the respondents is clearly discriminatory to the vast majority of Indians especially from small towns, rural backgrounds and all others who had studied in Hindi Medium or any other Indian language, as it puts them at a disadvantage right at the "Entry Point or the point of elimination".
The aforesaid act of the respondents violates Article 14 of the Constitution of India which ensures to all citizens equality before law and equal protection of law in so far as it places children who had opted for English medium schools in an advantageous position.

The aforesaid act of the respondents violates Article 16 of the Constitution of India which states that ‘There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the state.’

The aforesaid act of the respondents is a retrograde step and which is contrary to the scientific principles adopted by the Kothari Committee in 1977 which had recommended after considering the views of the UPSC, Department of Personnel and others, that the medium of examination may be one of the Principle languages of India’.

In 1979, the UPSC implemented the proposals by allowing candidates to opt for the language in which they wished to be examined and this change proved beneficial to those who hailed from small towns and could not afford education in costly English medium schools but had the required talent and qualities but were kept out because of Supremacy of English.

The aforesaid act of the respondents is in violation of the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India which has specified 14 major languages of India besides Hindi, and it is necessary in the interest of the educational and cultural advancement of the country that concerted measures should be taken for the full development of these languages;
The aforesaid act of the respondents deprives a vast majority of Indian citizens of their right to appear and compete for entry to Civil Services of the Union.

Both the Houses of Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution numbered F5/8/65-0L dated 18.01.1968 whose para 4 stated as under:

‘That all the languages included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution and English shall be permitted as alternative media for the All India and higher Central Services Examination after ascertaining the views of the Union Public Service Commission on the future scheme of examination, the procedural aspect and the timing’.

That the aforesaid act of the Respondents is in violation of Articles 343 which states that (1) The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devnagri Script…….

The aforesaid act of the respondents is in violation of the Preamble of the Constitution of India which seeks to secure to all its citizens “liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship” and "equality before Law"

The aforesaid act of the respondents is in violation of/infringes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which include protection of the cultural rights and that Hindi and other Languages of the Eighth schedule is the prime instrument of the cultural life of the majority of people in India.

That Hindi and other Languages of the Eighth schedule is the basis of Indian culture. Making English compulsory by the respondents will strike a body blow to wipe off India’s rich cultural heritage from its roots. Hindi and other classical languages have to be given their rightful place in the educational system.

No study has ever been conducted which showed that the comprehension of English at the entry level must be an essential attribute of an aspiring administrator. It is comprehension that needs to be tested and not Comprehension of English Language.

It is well known that every selected candidate has to undergo foundation courses and training for the period of 2 years and he is also bound to take specialized courses from time to time while in service.

That the Annual Reports of UPSC shows that every year a large number of candidates write the main examination in Hindi and other Indian languages.

Year Languages No. of students
2006 Hindi 3306
Other languages 250
Total 3556
2007 Hindi 3751
Other languages 318
Total 4069
2008 Hindi 5117
Other languages 318
Total 5498

A number of representations in this regard have been made by various organizations including the petitioner herein to various authorities including the Hon’ble President of India, The Prime Minister of India, The Home Minister of India, The State Minister for Home Affairs of India, Sh. Narayan Swamy, Home Secretary, Rajbhasha Secretary, Chairman, UPSC.

That on 02.05.2011, the Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar stated that the aforesaid act of the respondents will cause injustice to the aspirants from rural areas.

19.02.2011 Employment News 19-25 February 2011 published news that Preliminary Examination of the Civil Services Examination for recruitment to the Services and Posts mentioned below will be held by the Union Public Department of Personnel & Training in Gazette of India Extraordinary.

18.03.2011 Representation by petitioner herein to President of India, Prime Minister, Home Minister and others.

No response from the various authorities.

Hence the present petition

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