Minister of State (MoS) in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Dr. Jitendra Singh said here on Monday that the CSAT aspirants of 2011 will be allowed to appear for one more attempt in the exam.
"One more attempt will be allowed for CSAT aspirants who appeared in 2011," said Singh.
"English marks will not be included for gradation or merit," he added.
The decision came amidst ongoing UPSC row where the aspirants have been protesting against the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) examination, which was introduced in 2011, demanding that it be made easy for rural students.
The members of the National Students' Union of India (NSUI) even demonstrated outside Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's residence on Saturday.
Till 2010, the UPSC had two papers - one on general studies and one on an optional subject, where aspirants could choose one of the 23 listed subjects. Changing the syllabus from 2011, the UPSC replaced the optional subject paper with a paper that tests the aspirants' aptitude-CSAT.
The second paper in the preliminary exam comprises comprehension, interpersonal skills including communication skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision making and problem solving, general mental ability and basic numeracy.
The syllabus also has data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc - Class X level) and English language comprehension skills (Class X level).
Aspirants are having problems with the CSAT syllabus, as they feel it favours those who are from the science stream or, more specifically, from an engineering background.
They have also claimed that CSAT is discriminatory against students from the humanities stream, particularly those who have studied in Hindi.
The protesters believe that the English language comprehension skills, which the second paper tests, are discriminatory against students from a Hindi-medium background.
The protesters have also raised their voice against the use of the Google Translator for translating CSAT questions from English to Hindi, which they termed as a "disastrous experiment." (ANI)