Delhi. The ongoing case of protests has led to another group presenting their deep concern and anger towards the UPSC examination pattern.
Civil Service aspirants from states like Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, most of whom are engineers, complained about the unfair advantage to candidates from humanities background.
The present controversy is around the optional paper compulsory in the phase 2 of the exam.
This protest has two fold concerns. “Typically, students from humanities have an on-going practice in writing long answers. This gives them a lead in writing on paper for hours at stretch,” says one of the protestors. These candidates say it is unfair to not let them type in their answers instead.
Anu Kapoor, a civil service aspirant from Bhopal, is living in Delhi for the last 3 years to crack the exam. “We never had the need to write descriptive answers in engineering. If anything, the emphasis was on logic and clear understanding. A job like that of a civil servant needs to be in the hands of creatively thinking people like us,” she says. “I have appeared for the exam twice but could not clear the written for the optional. The system is biased against the people like us.”
Engineering students typically don’t have long answers to write in their answer sheet. Their logical reasoning is honed and most of the work they do does not involve long hours of writing.
The second concern is regarding the optional subjects. Even the optional subjects of Mathematics and Physics can only be attempted by those who have B.Sc. degree in these disciplines. This leaves very few optional choices for engineers. Coaching institutes are flourishing mainly since these students then study a completely new discipline only to crack the exam. While the salaries of students after engineering is only around 2.5 to 3 lakh per year, the coaching fees of whooping 1.5 lakh, which means they cannot imagine a life till they get selected.
“This coaching business is a symptom of the systematic error which giving undue attention to essay type answers. The emphasis on rot learning goes to another level with the compulsion of studying an optional just for the purpose of the examination,” Rosemary, a UPSC aspirant in the protest, says.
Pratham Singh, another aspirant who had spent 2 years of coaching in Kota for getting into IIT, now frets at the thought of joining another coaching. I don’t earn enough to take up a coaching for an optional. People like us should be judged on objective papers or analytical written test only. A humanities optional is biased towards non-engineering students.
Home Minister has been sent a typed application, to raise the issue. “Such alleged discrimination against the logical engineering minds will only harm the larger good on the nation,” it claims.