A question on secularism in this year’s civil services recruitment examination has generated a debate both online and offline.
“What are the challenges to our cultural practices to in the name of secularism?” asked the question in Union Public Service Commission’s prestigious Civil Services Mains examination held on Saturday.
It was part of General Studies Paper 1 and was to be answered in 150 words.
An aspirant, who took the test, said secularism is one of the ideals of constitutional morality and the question, coming from the central recruiter, should be seen in a positive light. Another aspirant said the question should have been avoided.
Sachin Arora, who teaches IAS aspirants at ALS Coaching, said the freedom of UPSC to ask such a question cannot be denied.
The question triggered a debate online as well. “#upsc what is happening to our country. UPSC more like government (sic),” wrote a user on Twitter, criticising the paper.
But not all were in disagreement. Another person tweeted, “UPSC also asked about ill effects of POLITICIZATION OF BUREAUCRACY (Q.10, GS4), hence it will be wrong to malign the image of prestigious institution like UPSC.”
Netizens also talked about Friday’s essay question paper, which featured “Biased media is a real threat to Indian democracy” as one of the topics in Section B.
Queries sent to two officials of the department of personnel and training, the central personnel agency, did not elicit any response till the time of going to press.