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July 25, 2014

Derek O`Brien speaks in Rajya Sabha on the UPSC logjam

Derek O`Brien speaks in Rajya Sabha on the UPSC logjam

Amidst mounting protests over the change in the pattern ofUPSC exams, which came into force since 2011, MPs cutting across party lines,including Trinamool, demanded a timeline for resolution of the issue and raisedconcerns over falling success rate of language students in UPSC exam.

The aspirants are protesting against the pattern of CivilServices Aptitude Test (CSAT) in the UPSC exams that they believe gives anunfair advantage to English-speaking students while leaving Hindi and regionallanguage aspirants at a disadvantage. They want the CSAT to be scrapped.

Speaking on the issue in the Rajya Sabha, Chief Whip of theparty, Derek O'Brien said this was not an issue of English versus Hindi butconcerns all regional languages.

Text of his full speech:

Sir, on the Minister`s statement, I have three quick pointsto make. This country is so great that even though English is my mother tongue,I first learnt to speak in Bengali by choice. Now, I have three quick points.

First to the Minister, through you, Sir, please stop thistelevision beatification of Parliament. If statements on serious issues have tobe made, we urge the Minister to make those statements on the floor ofParliament. But the Minister has done this before on some other issueconcerning three numbers — I will not get into that — but those statementsshould be made on the floor of Parliament, not to television studios. He canmake it later.

Secondly, my own leader, Mamata Banerjee, has shown the waywhere when it comes to Railway exams, people were given the opportunity towrite those exams in a language they are comfortable in. Sir, this is not anissue of English versus Hindi, certainly not. This is an issue regarding allthe languages. 

In the campaign of the BJP before the election, we heard a lotabout connecting with the youth of India. If you really want to connect withthe youth of India, reconnect and do it now, maintain status quo because youngpeople around the country are watching you, are watching us. We need to act ontheir behalf; we need to act now.