[RTI] CIC orders UPSC to disclose prelims answerkeys BEFORE the examination process is over

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Those of you, who’ve been preparing for last one or two years know the R.T.I stonewallingTM move of UPSC = whenever you ask UPSC to give official answerkey for IAS prelims or CDS or NDA or APFC or any exam, they give excuse “examination process is not yet complete and furthermore section 8 is revoked.” Last year I had filled R.T.I to UPSC, seeking

  1. Answerkeys for CSAT 2011 and 12= UPSC provided only 2011’s key. And refused to give 2012’s key saying “exam process is not yet complete.”
  2. Model Answers Mains paper (general studies, essay and Public Administration)= UPSC said no such information exists, we don’t give model answerkey/answersheets to examiners (in other words, examiners check your mains papers without any official answerkeys for reference.)

click me for more details on above matter.

Anyways, since the public information officer of UPSC did not provide above information, I had appealed to Jt.Secretary of UPSC, but he said UPSC’s public information officer’s answers were right. So finally I approached Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) regarding this matter. My line of argument was that

  • Prelim marks are not counted in the final merit list, so UPSC cannot hide the information until the “Whole” examination process is complete.
  • UPSC says we donot give model answerpapers for mains examination to the evaluators. However, UPSC’s official site maintains that before mains papers are checked, the head examiner holds a meeting with the evaluators on how to check the papers.
  • So perhaps UPSC is not “officially” giving them a file title “model answerpapers for Mains 2011 exam”, but they could be giving the evaluators the minutes of that meeting, or unsigned copies of some newspaper cuttings / columns/ books with answer lines highlighted or something like that. Mains papers are impossible to check without existence of such reference material.
  • Besides, UPSC takes exam in so many languages: English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi…so there are lot of evaluators checking those papers and not everyone of them could be knowing all the answers (particularly those 2 markers). Therefore some reference material is provided to the mains evaluators. And it should be made public under right to information act.
  • On 1st March 23, 2013, Chief Information Commissioner Shri Satyananda Mishra in his landmark* judgment ordered UPSC to disclose the answerkeys for CSAT 2012.

*Although UPSC hasn’t provided me the answerkey yet but I call this a landmark judgement because it destroy the stonewall of UPSC that had so far blocked preliminary answerkeys before the “whole” examination process (mains and interview) was complete. Meaning, when you give CSAT-2013, you don’t have to wait until April 2014 to get the official answerkeys. When you combine this with last year’s order of CIC that UPSC has to give marks to candidates failed in prelims even before the examination process is complete (click me)= it means after preliminary exam is over, you can get both answerkey + your prelims-marks from UPSC without having to wait for the entire “process” (mains and interview) to complete.

(Now copy pasting the order of CIC)

Central Information Commission, New Delhi
File No: CIC/SM/answer 2012/001599

Date of Hearing01 March 2013
Date of decision01 March 2013
Name of the AppelantMrunal
Name of the public authorityCPIO, UPSC, New Delhi.

Appellant (Mrunal) was present. (via video conferencing from Gujarat.)
On behalf of the respondents (of UPSC), the following were present (in the office of CIC in New Delhi).

  1. Dr.Kulbir Singh, JD & CPIO
  2. Shri Imran Farid, US (CSM)
  • In respect of the Civil Services Main Examination, 2010, the Appellant had wanted a copy of the model answer papers provided to the examiners. He had also wanted answer keys for the Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2011 and 2012. The CPIO (of UPSC) had not provided any of this information by claiming that the former (mains answerpapers) did not exist and the latter (preliminary answerkey of 2012) could not be disclosed since the examination process was still not complete. The Appellate Authority (of UPSC) had endorsed his decision.
  • The Appellant (Mrunal) argued that he should be provided this information because he believed that the UPSC circulated model answers to its examiners based on which they examined individual papers.
  • He also submitted that the Preliminary Examination being simply qualifying in nature, no harm would be caused to the examination process, if the answer keys ware disclosed after completion of the Preliminary Examination.
  • On the other hand, the Respondent (officer from UPSC) reiterated the stand taken by the CPIO that there was nothing like any model answer paper (for the mains examination).
  • We (CIC) have carefully considered facts of the case. If there is nothing like any model answer paper in material form, we cannot obviously compel the CPIO (of UPSC) to produce one.
  • However, in regard to the answer keys for the Preliminary Examination 2011 and 2012, we would tend to allow the disclosure of this information because, in our opinion, this (preliminary) examination has no bearing on the entire Civil Services Examination process being of a qualifying nature. (Since) The marks obtained by a candidate in this examination are not added to the marks in the succeeding stages of the examination to determine the status of the candidate. Therefore it (preliminary exam) is entirely a standalone examination.
  • In the light of this, we direct the CPIO to provide the answer keys for the Preliminary Examination 2011 and 2012 to the Appellant within 10 working days of receiving this order.

(Satyananda Mishra)

Chief Information Commissioner

Scanned copies of the order of CIC

cic order th1

page 1

cic order th2

page 2

update March-30-2013

UPSC didnot give me the answerkey, instead they decided to challange CIC’s order in Delhi high court. For more details, read this new article: click ME

unacademy IAS

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha

149 Comments on “[RTI] CIC orders UPSC to disclose prelims answerkeys BEFORE the examination process is over”

  1. UPSC’s opacity is difficult to bust…indeed
    We appreciate ur work..:)

  2. Hi Mrunal,

    Thanks for all the great work you are doing out there. Just wondering since the 10 days are over did u receive the 2012 answer key yet? If yes then can u pl upload it so we can have some clarification on some questions.

    Thanks,
    Pankaj Arora

  3. Sir please give the answer key of 2012 which one u got from UPSC. Please sir

  4. sorry please give 2011 answer key….

  5. SIR I WANT TO KNOW ANY WAY TO RECHECK PROCESS IN UPSC. I APPER IN AC 2012 I EXPECT P-1 110 , P-2 80 BUT I NOT CALL FOR PHYCIAL

  6. keep up the good work Mrunal… wish u succeed.. as thousands of students’ success depends on yours…

  7. gr8 victory for ias/upsc aspirants.

  8. GRAET JOB!!!!!!
    EVEN I HAD ALSO FILE RTI FOR KNOWING WHETHER B. PHARMA, B.Sc (MICRIBIO, BIOCHEM, etc) are eligible for IFoS EXAM OR NOT??? THEY CDNT GIV CLEAR CUTT ANSWER !!!!!!!STILL WAITING!!!!!!!!

  9. You are amazing !

  10. I want to know if the scaling method followed by UPSC can also be found out using RTI, way back in 2006 i missed out on clearing the exam but could not reason out the marks i obtained in the optionals (Maths & Mechanical Engineering)

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