UPSC exam row: Ex-bureaucrats slam govt’s move on English

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Top former bureaucrats and prominent social scientists have come out strongly against the government’s decision to exclude the marks earned in English from gradation or merit in the civil services preliminary tests. They told TOI that both aptitude tests and functional proficiency in English, part of Civil Services Aptitude Tests (CSAT) Paper II, are much-required to assess a potentially competent civil servant.

One of the country’s most respected bureaucrats, former cabinet secretary Naresh Chandra, said that a Class I officer is expected to know the English language. “The CSAT English comprehension questions are simple and can be solved by anyone who has passed his Class X English paper with a second or third division. By choosing to appear for the Civil Services, a candidate is aspiring for public service. And the knowledge of English, which is the main medium of official communication in north-eastern states like Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya, is possibly more important than proficiency in most other regional languages,” he said.

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