NEW DELHI: While nearly 300 students were taken into custody as UPSC aspirants took to the streets near Parliament, the Centre announced on Friday that it has asked the three-member committee looking into the language issue to submit its report within a week.
Hindi medium civil service aspirants, who had clashed with police in areas near Delhi’s University on Thursday night, took their protest to Lutyen’s Zone on Friday trying to protest in front of Parliament where they were stopped by the police and later detained.
The protesters claimed that the current format of examination discriminates against those students who are not proficient in English. Their current protest was triggered by news that the UPSC was issuing admit cards.
According to the police, over 300 protesters were detained at the Parliament Street police station.
The violence outside the streets was reflected within the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The upper chamber had to be adjourned twice during question hour, with SP, JD(U) and BSP members refusing to let the House function. The opposition demanded that the prime minister himself issue a clarification.
In the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for personnel Jitendra Singh said the issuance of admit cards, which began on Thursday, was part of the pre-scheduled calendar of the UPSC, which is an autonomous body. He announced during Zero Hour that the government had on Friday written to the committee to submit its report within a week.
“Let the report come, we will look into it and future course of action will be taken depending on it,” he said.
Singh tried to put the blame on the previous UPA government, stating that the matter had come to light after a PIL and the UPA government took cognisance of the issue only after directions from a High Court judge in 2011.
JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav said that it was worrying that the success rate of language students had gone down, while that of English students had doubled. He was supported by TMC’s Derek O’ Brien who said that it was not a concern of English versus Hindi, but all regional languages.
AIADMK’s S Muthukaruppan said UPSC aspirants should be allowed to write their exam papers in all Indian languages.
Owing to the violence and protests, Delhi Metro closed down two stations Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhawan metro stations from 12.30 pm to 3 pm as a number of students were coming to the protest site from those two metro stations.
“We don’t want to come to streets like this and be beaten up by the police as if we are criminals. We just want to raise our issue with the government but no one is willing to talk to us. The government had assured us that they will not conduct exams unless our issue is sorted out but now, the admit cards have been issued. This is extremely unfair. They are going back on their promise,” said a UPSC aspirant protesting near Parliament.