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CAT Refuses Relief In Petition Against UPSC 2023 CSAT

UPSC
Indian Masterminds Stories

Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Friday refused to stay the result of UPSC Prelims 2023 exam but it did issue notice to Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on plea seeking a reduction in cut off for CSAT from 33% to 23%. The petitioner had argued that the difficulty level of questions was similar to IIT-JEE, CAT. The

In view of the heightened difficulty level of the questions – similar to those asked in CAT and IIT JEE examinations, some candidates of the 2023 Civil Services Examination challenged the qualifying Part II (CSAT) exam conducted by UPSC last month and asked the Central Administrative Tribunal to direct the Commission to reduce the cut off for Paper II CSAT from 33% to 23%.

The petitioner had pleaded that if it can’t provide relaxation in cut-off marks then the tribunal should direct the commission to conduct a re-exam for Paper II (CSAT) of Prelims of Civil Services Examination (CSE) 2023. The applicants before the CAT have argued that as per the UPSC syllabus, CSAT is designed to test the general aptitude of candidates, and they are expected to possess the ability to solve basic questions relating to comprehension, logical reasoning, etc., at the Class X level.

“Going against the syllabus provided, UPSC has come up with a paper which cannot be cleared by anyone who possesses only basic knowledge of mathematics (Class X level) as the difficulty level of the questions is similar to that of questions asked in CAT examination and IIT JEE examination,” the plea claimed.

According to the plea, the Paper II (CSAT) conducted by the UPSC was not only out of syllabus but it is also discriminatory for candidates of humble background who cannot afford special coaching or belongs to rural areas or from the Arts stream. The applicants have also said that this year at least 10 questions were asked from a topic, which is a part of Class XI NCERT Mathematics Syllabus, and questions were also taken from previous years exams from IIT JEE or CAT.

When a qualifying paper is made that difficult it excludes the candidates on the basis which has no nexus with the object of the exam, the plea argued, adding that since this exam contained questions that are out of syllabus and questions that are not Class X level, same may be examined by an expert committee and then further action regarding these questions be taken on the basis of recommendations of the committee.

The plea argues that though UPSC has a discretion in setting the question paper but the same cannot be immune from judicial review if it is otherwise discriminatory, arbitrary and falls foul of the constitution.

“The paper II (CSAT) conducted by the UPSC is not only out of syllabus but it is also discriminatory for the various categories of candidates i.e., candidates of humble background who cannot afford special coaching, candidates of rural background, candidates from arts/humanities and even for the urban candidates who have not studied higher level mathematics,” it adds.

Alleging that questions were taken even directly from the CAT and JEE-Advanced question papers, the plea argues that though there is no prohibition in taking questions from other competitive exams but same should be in accordance with the overall objective of the recruitment as to what kind of a candidate is to be selected.


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