Weeks after Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam’s complaint letter to UPSC chairman Pradeep Kumar Joshi with some suggestions to rectify the problems, former Civil servant Dr Vijay Agrawal has asserted that allegations were levelled against the commission to seek political mileage. Agrawal said that allegations were levelled against a constitutional and highly credible institution “merely on the basis of assumptions” to “obstruct the national interest.” He also suggested that the Minister should have put forward his thoughts on the basis of facts.
Delhi Minister Gautam had on July 16 alleged that there is systematic discrimination in awarding marks to reserved category students in UPSC interviews. He gave two suggestions to the commission – keeping the caste of the candidate hidden and the interviewer should be chosen randomly instead of clubbing reserved and general category separately.
This comes few days ahead of UPSC interviews for civil services examination 2020. The interviews for the civil services exam were deferred due to a surge in COVID-19 cases across the country. It is scheduled to commence on August 2.
Dr Agrawal, founder of AFEIAS coaching classes said that allegations made by the Minister can be investigated so that the morale of the reserve category candidates remains the same and they do not feel demotivated.
Dr Agrawal said that since the posts of reserve category candidates are fixed, it is not possible to exclude them from the race of becoming civil servants by giving fewer marks. However, due to their low ranking, chances of future promotion may decrease.
The former civil servant gave the example of last year’s cut off marks to prove his point. He said that the cut off marks for last year in the preliminary exam were 98 for General, 96.66 for OBC, 84 and 83.34 for SC and ST category candidates respectively. Their cut-off marks in the main examination in the same order were – 751, 718, 706, and 699 respectively. Whereas the minimum marks of the final selection, in the same order, were 961, 925, 898 and 893 respectively.
He said that the difference of marks between the cut off for general and reserve category students is not so much that it can only occur if candidates are given fewer marks in the interview.
The fact that both the youths, who secured the first position in 2015 and 2018 were from the reserved category, is enough to disprove the minister’s allegation of low marks in interviews, the former civil servant said.