Regional language aspirants find themselves at a disadvantage in Civil Service exams

Garima Singh New Delhi | Updated on April 11, 2019 Published on April 10, 2019

In 2016, a total of 15,107 students appeared in General Studies (I) subject in the Civil Services (Main) Examination. Representative image   -  The Hindu

Civil Services still remain the most sought after service if the number of candidates taking the exam is any indicator. But, what is bothering everyone is that the students who are taking exams in Hindi or other regional languages seem to be lagging behind both in the rankings and the overall number of selections.

This was also evident in the results for Union Public Service Commission 2018 (UPSC) exam which was declared last week.

Reasons for the lag

Lack of availability of good study material and coaching institutes, paper patterns skewed towards English study material and the evaluators’ lack of proficiency in these languages, are some of the reasons attributed to the poor results.

Aditya Kumar Jha is among the first few who took the exam in Hindi. His rank was 339.

“There are too many challenges for the students who give the exam in a language other than English. Not only is the question paper made keeping English newspapers in mind, but also papers in regional/local languages fall short of good editorial content,” said Jagadish Kumar, 564th rank holder in 2018, who took the test in Hindi.

According to data available with the UPSC, in 2016, a total of 15,107 students appeared in General Studies (I) subject in the Civil Services (Main) Examination. Out of this, 1318 students took the exam in Hindi, while 135 took it in Gujarati, and 87 in Marathi. On the other hand, only 5 students took the exam in Punjabi, while there were no takers for Sanskrit.

Shortage of study material

According to teachers who coach students at IAS coaching centres, books in regional languages are mostly translated from English and hence, most of the times, the context and meaning is lost in the process. “There are no good test series provided by the coaching institutes for the students taking the exam in other languages and the morale of such students is low since the beginning,” said Asim Khan who gave the UPSC 2018 exam in Urdu, but couldn’t reach the interview stage.

Another problem, according to experts, is that teachers who correct the papers, at times do not even have a good command of regional languages which also impacts the success rate of such students.

“If one looks region-wise, there is a possibility that the number of candidates who give the exam in vernacular languages are more from the southern region. This could be due to their strong linguistic and cultural skills,” said Vinay Singh, Founder, Dhyeya IAS coaching academy.

Medium of ExamNumber of students who took General Studies (I) exam in (Main) 2016
Published on April 10, 2019
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