Mumbai : The Union Public Service Commission’s latest circular about their exam has generated a storm in political circles as it has canceled the optional subject of regional language in the prelims.

The State government has decided to oppose the decision and Shiv Sena has warned that it will disrupt the commission’s exams in the state, if its demand to include Marathi in the syllabus was not met.

As UPSC selects administrators in all key government sectors, it should have been mandatory for aspirants to learn modern Indian languages.  But the latest move seems to place undue emphasis on English and is being seen as ‘anti-regional language.’

The new pattern spares candidates the task of compulsorily qualifying in other language papers like Hindi or any of the VIII Schedule languages, which include Marathi. Earlier, candidates had to qualify in English and another language paper whose marks were, however, not counted while shortlisting candidates for the Main exam.

Shiv Sena workers on Wednesday staged a protest against the new exam pattern at Mumbai.

The new pattern gives more weight to general studies and aptitude skills. The UPSC has also introduced an English language paper, whose marks will count in final selection of aspirants for services like IAS, IFS, IPS, IRS and other sought-after Central jobs.

” We will oppose this decision and will write to the Union government,” Higher Education Minister Rajesh Tope announced.

“Our demand is that students should have the Marathi option. If our demand is not met, we will disrupt UPSC exams in the state,” Sena leader Gajanan Kirtikar said. Sena workers carried placards, decrying the UPSC for its “anti-Marathi” stance, while formulating the new pattern.

“We will soon meet UPSC officials in Delhi to put forth our demand,” Kirtikar said, while speaking during the protest, held at Hutatma Chowk here.

” Earlier, convent educated youth, who did not know regional languages, had to perforce study a regional language for qualifying in the Mains exam. The marks in English and regional language were not counted while finalizing the merit list. But under the new system, the marks of prelims, which means English and the optional subject, will be counted in the final merit list. This will create a great divide between English medium and regional language medium students as Engilsh paper was of 200 Marks in the earlier pattern and now it is of total 300 marks.

In UPSC, every mark is crucial and now English is getting prominence by 100 marks,” Avinash Dharmadhikari, Former IAS officer and now Head of Pune-based Chanakya UPSC coaching academy, lamented.

Mangesh Borkar of Mumbai-based Sambodhi UPSC Coaching Academy also criticised this decision. ” This will deny entry to rural students. Also UPSC has cancelled option of Pali language, which is equally shocking. A large number of students from Maharashtra and North India would clear the exam with Pali,” Borkar said.

IPS officer of Maharashtra cadre Milind  Dumre and Rajesh Modak have passed this exam with Pali.

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