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33% qualifying marks for CSAT in civil prelims: Government

Ignoring a demand by sections of aspirants, the Centre on Wednesday decided to continue with the controversial aptitude test in the civil services preliminary examination and also set 33% minimum qualifying marks.
At the same time, it said an expert committee would be constituted to take a holistic view of the aptitude test. Till such time the government takes a decision on the recommendation of the committee, the general studies Paper-II (Civil Services Aptitude Test or CSAT) in the civil services preliminary examination will remain a qualifying paper with a minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%, a statement issued today by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.
The English language comprehension skill portion from general studies Paper-II of civil services preliminary examination will continue to remain excluded, it said. The expert committee would be constituted to comprehensively examine various issues raised from time to time namely, eligibility, syllabus, scheme and pattern of civil services examination, the DoPT said.
"This is a very significant and path-breaking decision and is expected to satisfy the long-pending grievance of large sections of students and aspirants," Union Minister Jitendra Singh said. After today's decision, the civil services examination, 2015 will be held as per the 2014 pattern, i.e. with questions on aptitude to be part of second paper and marks of English section not to be included for gradation.
However, candidates need to secure minimum 33 % qualifying marks in it. Earlier, there were no such minimum qualifying marks requirement. A controversy had erupted in July last over the pattern of civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) as students demanding change in CSAT or Paper II had taken to the streets in protest. 

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