NEW DELHI, July 28 (IANS): Amid continuing protests by civil service aspirants demanding the scrapping of an aptitude test, the government said Monday that the row will be resolved soon.
"The UPSC issue will be resolved within a week," said Home Minister Rajnath Singh, a day after he apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the steps being taken to address the concerns of the aspirants who have dubbed the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) "discriminatory".
A students delegation met Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who promised to raise the matter in parliament.
Hundreds of aspirants protested Monday morning outside the office of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in the heart of the city. The UPSC conducts the civil service examination.
Forty of the protesters were detained by police.
The aspirants are continued their daily protests at Mukherjee Nagar, a residential area near Delhi University popular with students who pour into Delhi from other states to prepare for the civil service examination.
The students want the CSAT scrapped, saying it discriminates against those from the humanities and Hindi background.
A delegation met Rahul Gandhi at his 12 Tughlak Lane residence and sought his support in government.
Speaking to IANS, Shubhankar Vats, who was in the delegation, said: "Rahul Gandhi has assured us that he will raise the issue in parliament."
According to a statement by the Congress, Gandhi assured the delegation that no stone will be left unturned and that "he has always been concerned about students' well being".
Ajit Chakravarti, a protesting student, said: "We are demanding our rights... The protests will not be stopped till the government agrees to our demand."
The protesters burnt their entrance examination admit cards and raised slogans against former union minister Kapil Sibal. In a bid to disperse them, police used water cannons.
When the protest didn't end, police detained about 40 of them.
The delegation which met Gandhi later marched to the Tilak Marg police station in central Delhi where others had been detained.
The CSAT-II paper carries questions on comprehension, interpersonal skills, including communication skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision-making and problem-solving, general mental ability, basic numeracy, and English language comprehension skills (of Class 10 level).
They have been objecting against the aptitude test and English language questions asked in the CSAT II paper, claiming they were much above the standard prescribed for the examination.
The protesters went on a rampage Thursday in north Delhi, burning two police vehicles and a bus.
The protest intensified after the UPSC started issuing admit cards to the aspirants for the preliminary exam scheduled Aug 24.
Minister of State for Personnel and Public Grievances Jitendra Singh tried to assure the agitating students and made a statement in the Rajya Sabha July 25.
He had said a three-member committee was formed in March last year and has been directed to submit its report in a week.
"The candidates will not suffer and the issue of admit cards should not be a worry," the minister had said.