Civil Services Aptitude Test rollback?

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Last week, students led by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parsihad (ABVP) protested against the pattern of the civil services preliminary test, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). 

The students have been protesting against the aptitude components, including logical reasoning and quantitative ability, of the preliminary test introduced in 2011. 

Protests have intensified now as the ABVP-led protesters believe that the test pattern puts aspirants from a non-English medium school background at a disadvantage. 

“The poorest of the poor, who do not have access to quality education, aspire to write the civil services examination. But the test is structured in such a way that only people with access to expensive, English-medium education can ace it. One needs to be trained for a competition like this right from the primary level,” insists Rohit Chahal, president, ABVP. Protestors want the preliminary test to be replaced by a better alternative even if it means going back to the older structure. However, they first want the preliminary test scheduled for August 24 to be deferred. The civil services main test is scheduled for December and any delay in the preliminary stage reduces the time gap for preparation. 

A committee led by Arvind Varma was appointed in March 2014 to look into matters related to the test pattern but has not submitted its report so far. 

There is no clear statement yet from the UPSC as to whether the test would be postponed.

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