After House uproar, govt puts UPSC move on hold
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MPs from parties across the political spectrum came together in the Lok Sabha Friday to force the government to put in abeyance a UPSC notification giving compulsory weightage to English in the Civil Services Exam.
Members described the move as being against students from the vernacular mediums, rural areas and backward communities, and demanded punishment for those responsible for the notification.
The government bowed — minister of state in the Department of Personnel and Training V Narayanasamy announced, "I would like to say that the government has taken into account all the views expressed by the Hon'ble members... The government will call a meeting of the UPSC and solve the issue. In the meanwhile... we will keep the notification in abeyance..."
RJD's Lalu Prasad and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh led the protests that witnessed members from the SP and Shiv Sena trooping into the well, disrupting Question Hour and forcing the chair to adjourn the House for half an hour.
Two more adjournments followed, with members from the JD(U), AIADMK and DMK joining the protests; finally, the chair allowed an impromptu debate at 12.30 pm. With no member standing up in defence of the UPSC's move, Narayanasamy yielded.
Lalu described the move as a "conspiracy against rural aspirants", and demanded that the decision be "rolled back" and the "conspirators" punished. BJP's Gopinath Munde slammed the "injustice to aspirants from the rural areas, tribals, Dalits and backward classes". Senior Congress member Sis Ram Ola underscored his "strong opposition" to the move, and SP's Dharmendra Yadav called it "anti-national". All the MPs demanded a rollback.
JD(U)'s Sharad Yadav attacked the UPSC chairman and urged the government to impeach him. Akali Dal member Ratan Singh Ajnala too demanded "punishment" for the authors of the move. Trinamool's Saugata Roy expressed similar views.
DMK's TKS Elangovan said his party does not accept the "authoritarian" move. Other UPA partners — RLD (Jayant Chaudhary) and NCP (Sanjeev Naik) — too demanded a correction.
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