Mumbai: In a huge relief to lakhs of aspirants, the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) has deferred its new examination pattern till 2025, following a request by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde after massive protests against the new system rocked the state, officials said here on Tuesday.
In a letter to MPSC, Shinde said that the June 2022 move to switch the final (mains) exam pattern this year (2023) from the existing objective to descriptive, besides effecting many other changes, would be unjust and detrimental to the interests of the candidates.
Accordingly, the MPSC has deferred its decision and will implement the new pattern from the 2025 exams, giving candidates sufficient time to prepare as per the new style.
The Maharashtra Congress, which had carried out agitations and supported the aspirants, claimed credit and said the government has finally "bowed down" to the demands of the candidates.
Congress' chief spokesperson Atul Londhe said that lakhs of candidates from all over the state have been demanding postponement of the new pattern since the past few months, including several huge protests held in Pune, Nagpur, Kolhapur, Aurangabad and other places.
"State Congress President Nana Patole had also raised the matter in the legislature, but the government adopted a stubborn stance and refrained from taking a decision in the interest of the candidates. After the candidates' show of unity, the government had to bend and is now taking credit for their agitation," said Londhe.
He pointed out that when the Congress held a daylong protest with thousands of aspirants agitating all over the state on January 13, though CM Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis were in Pune, they did not go to meet the protesters shivering in winter temperatures.
It may be recalled that the MPSC had announced its new pattern for the 2023 Main exams which led to massive protests, as the candidates usually prepare for 3-5 years before writing the competitive exam.
With changes in the exam pattern from objective to descriptive, the preparations had to be changed which couldn't be done overnight, argued the candidates and organisations like Spardha Pariksha Samanvaya Samiti (SPSS).
Besides the written exams pattern, which will now be similar to the UPSC exams -- the number of papers has been increased from 6 to 9 with a major descriptive component, the total marks has gone up from 800 to 1750, with candidates needing to score a minimum of 25 per cent in each paper to qualify for the merit score.
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