Karunanidhwants UPSC paper to have questions in Tamil too

DMK president M. Karunanidhi wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday seeking his intervention to provide UPSC question paper in Tamil to ensure a level playing field to Tamil-speaking students.

In a letter to Mr Singh, Mr Karunanidhi said that the UPSC had introduced a “significant change,” in the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) and questions in the new format were framed in such a way that only candidates well-versed in English would be able to answer them within the stipulated time of two hours.

“However such questions are also found translated in Hindi. Candidates who are conversant with Hindi can understand the questions easily by reading its Hindi version.

Hence, the Hindi speaking candidates end up scoring more in the Civil Services Aptitude Test even though they are not well versed in English,” DMK chief said, adding that the change has emerged as a severe challenge for candidates from the state and the present system was in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution (Right to Equality).

The impact of the new system has started reflecting in the results. “Of the 910 candidates selected from all parts of India in 2011, only 68 are from Tamil Nadu.

In the previous year, out of the total of 980 candidates, 122 were from TN,” he said, blaming the change in pattern for the declining trend.

“Railway board conducts exams in Tamil, therefore the UPSC should also consider extending this benefit to Tamil students,” he said.

“The objective of the UPSC exam was to test and select the best and brightest candidates and its purpose will not be diluted by providing translation of the questions in Tamil as well as Hindi.

This will provide candidates from the state a level playing field,” he said, demanding the PM to find a solution to the issue that “is likely to make a lasting impact” on policy and programmes of the country in future.

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