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Was Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla’s daughter selected for civil services without appearing for the exam? A fact-check

The reserve list of UPSC is not reservation quota list, it is like a second merit list, or like a waiting list.

Anjali Birla, the daughter of Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla, was selected for the civil services by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Monday. Her name was among the list 89 candidates selected by UPSC from its reserve list from the 2019 civil services exam. She has studied political science (honours) from Ramjas College in New Delhi.

However, after the news came out that Anjali Birla was selected for the civil services from the reserve list, a claim is being circulated on social media that she was selected without appearing for the exams, only because her father is a senior BJP leader and the speaker of the lower house.

Several Twitter users, mostly supporters of Congress and other opposition parties, made the claim on the micro-blogging site, alleging nepotism and favouritism in selected UPSC exam candidates. Referring to photographs of Anjali in fashionable clothes in her social media accounts, many also alleged that she is a model, and she was selected due to her looks, without having to appear for the test.

The fact that Anjali Birla was selected in the reserve list was twitted by people to allege that she was selected in a reserved quota. Supporters of opposition parties tried to say that there is a reserved quota for politicians in the civil services, and Anjali was selected in that quota.

But this is a completely baseless allegation, as the reserve list does not mean reserved quota. After every civil services examination, the UPSC prepares two lists, the main list and the reserve list. While the main list is published immediately, the reserve list is kept confidential, and it is published after all the candidates in the main list are allocated in available seats.

This is done as per Rule-16 (4) & (5) of Civil Services Examination Rules, 2019. As per this rule, in the main list, the total number of candidates is deducted by the number of candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes who acquire the merit at or above the fixed general qualifying standard. As a result, a reserve list is prepared for that deducted number of candidates, according to marks obtained by the candidates.

The reason for this rule is that, in case the reserved category candidates who are selected at general standards, wish to choose services and cadre based on their reserved status instead of the general category, the general category seats remain vacant. To fill up those seats remaining vacant, the candidates from the reserve list is used, which contain both general and reserved category candidates.

As it is not known how many reserved category candidates qualifying at general category will choose reserve category posts and how many will choose general category posts, the reserve list can be published only after the allocation of all the candidates from the main list is completed. After that process is over, for the seats remaining vacant, candidates from the reserve list are selected according to the order of merit.

Therefore, the reserve list of UPSC is not reservation quota list, it is like a second merit list, or like a waiting list. It is prepared from the candidates who appeared in the preliminary and mains exams conducted by UPSC, and it is not any privileged list. The number of candidates that will be selected from this list depends on the selections made by reserved category candidates obtaining general category in the main list.

Due to this reason, while there were vacancies in 927 posts, the main result announced in August last year had 829 candidates, as the rest of the posts were to be filled from the reserved list. This means, in the 2019 exams, 98 candidates from the reserved category had obtained general category standards. From them, 89 candidates didn’t select seats available for general category candidates, which remained vacant. To fill those vacant seats, the reserve list was announced with 89 candidates, which included the name of Om Birla’s daughter.

The 89 candidates include 73 General, 14 OBC, 01 EWS and 01 SC category candidates. Anjali Birala’s name appears in the serial number 67 of this list. This means, she had appeared for the exams, and secured enough marks to be placed in the reserve list. It is completely incorrect to claim that she was selected without having to appear for the examinations. All the 89 candidates had appeared, and their roll numbers are given in the list published by UPSC.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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