UPSC exam: Steep fall in non-English candidates

The changes in the basic structure of UPSC syllabus made first in 2011 and then in 2013 have adversely affected the number of non-English medium candidates appearing in the civil services examinations. According to data, the number of non-English medium candidates appearing in the examinations was 5,082 in 2008, 4,839 in 2009, 4,156 in 2010 and 1,682 in 2011. On the contrary, the number of English-medium candidates sharply increased during the same period. It was 50.57% in 2008, 54.50% in 2009, 62.23% in 2010 and 82.93% in 2011. Similarly, while 5,082 candidates wrote in Hindi in 2008, this number fell to 1,682 in 2011; 14, 98 and 117 candidates wrote in Kannada, Tamil and Telgu respectively in 2008 and their number sharply fell to 5, 14 and 29 respectively in 2011.

Madhepura MP and JD (U) national president Sharad Yadav has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure provision of more attempts to such candidates in the examinations and consider even giving relaxation in age limit. He said not only the number of non-English medium candidates underwent steep fall but candidates writing in other regional languages have also fallen. Yadav said he wanted to bring an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha but could not due to regular disturbance of the house proceedings in the current session.

The UPSC pleaded that minor changes have been made in the curriculum but Yadav challenged it and claimed that 67% changes have been affected as compared to 2010 curriculum, causing the sharp decline in the number of no-English medium candidates. Yadav also urged the PM to make suitable changes in the UPSC in the interest of candidates appearing from Hindi speaking regions as well as other regions.

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