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What is the significance of fee remission for females in the UPSC Prelim exam?

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Please see this post on the same issue on this blog before reading this. On the same forum a new elaborate comment on this matter by a forum member:

It is true that the government does many things on the gender front without following it whole-heartedly (such as the gender budgeting by Chidambaram). Still in my opinion, this has a lot more than what meets the eye.

1. It is a clear policy statement by the UPSC/government. It has no tangible benefits except the 50 Rupees for the womenfolk but it will have ramifications. They may extend it to all other UPSC exams (ideally they should) including the Civil Services Main examination. Maybe someday the reservation for women in the parliament will also become a reality.

2. The statement by UPSC (actually by the government) that “Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply” should mean a lot of things in due course of time. It may be extended to other exams and exams conducted by other bodies such as the UGC, CSIR (may be even the IITs and IIMs). It reflects policy change.

3. There is already a debate that women get more marks in the UPSC CSE interviews. After this statement, chances are that females may be given some extra marks to achieve that gender-balanced workforce.

4. Some institutions like JNU have a policy of promoting female candidates through deprivation points (they get 5 extra marks compared to men; any female candidate to JNU gets 5 marks irrespective of category which is also one of the reasons JNU has a good sex ratio). Who knows someday the UPSC/government may adopt this model for women to get more women in the services!

5. It is a very small step towards women’s empowerment. The well-off urban women may not think highly of it. It is not for them. It is for the country. It is a small message for the people that ‘we want more women’ and more education in the country and the work force and there are small measures in place, however ordinary they may appear.

6. It is a small policy issue but it may spawn bigger things. The RTI act had many small beginnings and false starts too. This one may also be a spark for something bigger for women’s empowerment and suchlike. Amen!

7. It will not lead to increase in the number of non-serious candidates in the UPSC exam because 50 Rupees will hardly make an impact (they still have to pay the 20 Rupees and take all the trouble of filling the UPSC Preliminary forms). People even if they are not appearing in the exam, apply for it (because many do not know how the life’s season will change in the five months after application).

Written by upsc aspirants

January 7th, 2010 at 12:09 pm

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