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UPSC aspirants move Delhi High Court over ‘vague’ questions in the preliminaries

NewsUPSC aspirants move Delhi High Court over ‘vague’ questions in the preliminaries

At least 17 UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) students have moved the Delhi High Court challenging the Civil Services preliminary examination held by the UPSC earlier this year on the ground that the question paper had several “vaguely worded” questions that were subjective in nature and also to direct the top recruitment body to publish the answer key to the examination held.
The petitioners claim that there have been at least 45 questions in the Civil Services prelim examination’s GS (General Studies) paper I where the answers to those questions were more “subjective” than objective, which was against the rule of the examination.
Students in their petition also argued that several questions had possible multiple correct answers, but the Union Public Service Commission would only select one correct answer, which could put thousands of students to disadvantage, though their answer would be correct.
Advocate Rajeev Kumar Dubey who appeared before the Delhi High Court for the students told The Sunday Guardian, “We have prayed before the Hon’ble Court that the UPSC should release the answer key for the Civil Services examination that happens every year, so that students appearing for the examination are clear as to what would be the correct answer considered by the recruitment body. But what UPSC does is that they release the answer key after the entire process is over, which is one year later. This is a contravention of natural justice and violation of the Constitution. When all other Civil Services body like MPPSC, UPPSC, BPSC can declare the answer key within days of the examination, why can’t UPSC do the same?”
“Moreover, asking questions which are vague, subjective and can have multiple answers where students have to make a guesswork to answer those questions is irrational and illogical for a prestigious body like UPSC. The Union Public Service Commission testing students’ guesswork which can merely be based on one’s luck and not knowledge is not only arbitrary, but defies all principles of fairness, logic and rationality,” Dubey added.
The petition also prayed to quash the press notification released by the Union Public Service Commission that declared the results for the preliminary examination earlier this month as the they claimed the UPSC did not consider the 16,000 plus representation sent to them with regards to the anomalies in the question paper of GS I. “UPSC had taken just four days to consider more than 16,000 representations from the students sent to them, it is humanly not possible for the organisation to go through the representation of that big a volume within four days and address them. Therefore, it is considered that the Union Public Service Commission ignored the students’ representation and we have prayed before the hon’ble court to request the UPSC to consider the representation from the students,” Dubey told this newspaper.
The matter had come up before the vacation bench of the Delhi High Court and Justice Manoj Jain, after hearing the initial arguments in the case, has listed the matter for Monday, where further arguments and hearing would take place.
Another similar petition by UPSC students have also been moved with the CAT (Central Administrative Tribunal) that seeks to reduce the qualifying percentage of the Civil Services Paper II (CSAT) from 33% to 23%. Students claim that the UPSC in their syllabus has mentioned that the difficulty level for the CSAT paper would be up to class X level, while this time it was seen that some of the questions that appeared in the paper were of advance MBA and JEE level questions which would put students with MBA and Engineering background at an advantage against students with Humanities background.

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