‘Foreign’ Languages:Students to Protest against UPSC

Against Exclusion of ‘Foreign’ Languages from UPSC and Elitisation of UPSC Exam Pattern, Students and Faculty from JNU, Jamia, DU, AMU, Allahabad, Patna and Other Universities to Participate in JNUSU’s Protest Demanding Review of UPSC’s Exam Pattern

New Delhi (Press Note): Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU)  has called for a protest demonstration tomorrow (10th October, 12:30 PM) at the UPSC Bhawan against certain recent changes in the UPSC exam pattern – such as the exclusion of ‘foreign languages’ as optional subjects in UPSC and the new CSAT pattern. Faculty members and students from several universities – including JNU, DU, Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Allahabad University and Patna University – will be participating in this protest. A massive online campaign had been undertaken on a petition on the issues during last fortnight.

JNUSU organised petition is demanding :

·      Restoration of ‘Foreign’ Languages in the List of Optional Subjects of UPSC Civil Services Exam,

·      Review of the CSAT and UPSC prelim Exam Pattern that tampers the level playing field for arts, humanities and different indian language candidates, particularly from non-English trained and rural backgrounds, vis-a-vis the candidates  with Science / Medical/Engineering / Management Training;

·      Granting of Fresh Attempts and Age Relaxation to the candidates who are caught in the transition of syllabus change of 2011 and 2013.

“The issues we are raising are important for students all over the country. Given the national importance of UPSC’s policy decisions, JNUSU has contacted and also received support from students and teachers from various universities,” said Akbar Chawdhary, President, JNUSU.

“The UPSC’s decision of excluding languages such as Arabic, Persian, German, Spanish and Russian from its entrance exam is downright discriminatory. The same government which is speaking of ‘globalisation’ is excluding these languages which are being taught in UG/PG/Research level in several universities across the country,” added Akbar.

“Why is the govt curtailing the opportunities of Madarsa-trained students in premier job avenues, when Arabic and Persian have centuries- long history of teaching-learning in India?,” said Sandeep Saurav, General Secretary, JNUSU.

JNUSU is also demanding a thorough review of UPSC’s new CSAT based exam pattern: “The new exam pattern is a definite disadvantage for non-English speaking candidates from non-Science/Management backgrounds. The facts itself speak for themselves – candidates appearing in the Mains exam in Hindi medium has gone down from 5082 in 2008 to 1682 in 2011, in Kannada has fallen from 14 in 2008 to 5 in 2011, in Tamil from 98 in 2011 to 14 in 2011, in Telugu from 117 in 2008 to 29 in 2011”, said Sandeep.

JNUSU, faculty members and students are therefore demanding that as per the precedent that had been set in 1979, 3 fresh attempts and 3 years of age relaxation should be provided to all categories of students who are caught in the transition of syllabus change of 2011 and 2013!