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Flash Back May 1998

Manipur Tribal Students at sea with UPSC language paper

The tribals of Manipur, particularly the students, are yet to fully come to terms with the recent decision of the country’s apex recruitment body to various all – India services to introduce a compulsory language paper for the tribal aspirants of the State. In a swift and unexpected move which caught the tribals gasping for breath and which has been described as ‘unacceptable’, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) through its notification F.1/5/97 EI(B) Preliminary Examination of the Civil Services Examination, 1998 which was published in the November 29 December 5, 1997 issue of Employment News has reduced the hope and the aspiration of Manipuri tribals to ashes. Though a direct reference to the effect that tribal aspirants of Manipur are to offer major Indian language paper as a compulsory subject / paper has not been made, the Commission’s reference that “the paper – I on Indian languages will not, however, be compulsory for candidates hailing from the North – eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland and also candidates hailing from the State of Sikkim” has nailed the issue against them. This in effect means that the aspirants from Manipur will have to offer a language paper while aspirants from other north – eastern states have been given an option...........