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UPSC row must be resolved soon

THE ROW over the new structure of the civil services examination is a classic example of inept handling by the government of a sensitive issue and utter failure of the Union Public Service Commission ( UPSC) to address the concerns of the aspirants. The worst part of the episode is the apathy on the part of the government, which failed to provide even the basic courtesy of a patient hearing to the agitating students. It was only when students took to the streets and indulged in violence that the lawmakers took notice of their grievance, prompting the government to offer a remedy.

The students are demanding a level playing field as there is genuine concern that the new system of examination is tilted in favour of English medium aspirants. The removal of the regional language paper and hundred marks weightage to the English language paper does appear to be a grave anomaly. Considering that even a single mark in this fiercely contested examination can alter one's rank drastically, this bias is going to impact prospects of a large chunk of regional language students. Thus, students with mathematics and English will get a head start over others.

The new system was introduced to duck criticism over various anomalies in the earlier pattern of examination, which was considered to be arbitrary.

The examination system should be completely transparent and inspire confidence among students. Those who are taking the prestigious examination to occupy top posts in the government must be assured that the selection process is fair. The government should not delay further in intervening and address such concerns immediately. The controversy has already disturbed the preparations of serious students and any further disruption should be avoided. The protests are only intensifying, casting a shadow on this year's examination. There is a complete lack of confidence in the government as the students are not prepared to believe that their careers will not be jeopardised. The only way to restore the broken link is by offering immediate relief. The UPSC too has failed in its duty in this regard. It should have sorted out the issue and avoided the controversy by taking aspirants into confidence. There should be a mechanism to include concerns of students as the examination, after all, is aimed at testing their capabilities to take up challenging assignments as civil servants.

Let's get rid of offensive MPs

IT'S THE duty of every good 'Hindustani' to be good to minorities. And I, being the true blue 'Hindustani' that I am, feel compelled to ensure minority members get their due. Are you listening Mr Francis D'Souza and Deepak Dhavalikar? I am talking about the two of you in particular. Funny thing is, I hadn't ever read about you before this week. But I am a true Hindustani and your unnoteworthy lives will not deter me from helping you realise your dream of living in a 'Hindu Rashtra.' You will be glad to know there are islands as yet uninhabited by human beings that can be bought -- a quick Internet search will give you an array of options to choose from. Let's start from there. You could purchase one and move there with all who concur with you; endangered as your kind is, I am sure you'll be able to establish a nation in the smallest of these islands.

Once there, you can pursue your dream without appeasement policies getting in the way.

As the mastermind of this idea, though, I would like some say on how the nation is planned. Agreed? Good. First, we should make sure 'lesser' Hindus are kept away from the 'real' ones -- there could be separate colonies for this. Mr D' Souza, sorry, your sentiments aside, you won't be able to reside in the same colony as your Cabinet colleague.

Since it's an island, you'll have a beach to yourselves. So, you should make it clear on Day One itself that no woman tries to titillate the good men of your nation by wearing bikinis or going to pubs in revealing clothes ( this one's inspired by your brother, Mr Dhavalikar). In fact, you should have no pubs at all.

You may find it hard to believe, but if you look beyond your cabins, you will see that no one really cares about your Hindu nation dreams.

The likes of you amuse us at best.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jul 27, 2014
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