Central Information Commission opens up UPSC finally: A landmark judgement
In a landmark judgement Central Information Commission in a full bench ordered Union Public Service Commission to disclose the marks assigned to each of the applicants for the Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2006 in General Studies and in Optional Papers & also disclose the cut-off marks fixed in respect of the General Studies paper and in respect of each of the Optional Papers and if no such cut-off marks are there, it shall disclose the subject-wise marks assigned to short-listed candidates
- The UPSC shall, within two weeks from the date of this order, disclose the marks assigned to each of the applicants for the Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2006 in General Studies and in Optional Papers; and
- The UPSC, within two weeks from the date of this order, shall also disclose the cut-off marks fixed in respect of the General Studies paper and in respect of each of the Optional Papers and if no such cut-off marks are there, it shall disclose the subject-wise marks assigned to short-listed candidates; and
- The UPSC shall examine and consider under Section 8(1) (d) of the RTI Act the disclosure of the scaling system as it involves larger public interest in providing a level playing field for all aspirants and shall place the matter before the Competent Authority within one month from the date of this order. This will also cover the issue of disclosure of model answers, which we recommend should in any case be made public from time to time. In doing so, it shall duly take into account the provisions of Section 9 of the RTI Act.
The appeal was filed asking for:
Some of the Civil Service aspirants who have appeared for the Civil Services preliminary examination, 2006, including one Shiv Shambhu and many other applicants applied to the UPSC seeking the following information:
- Total marks scored by the appellant in written papers as well as interview should be disclosed.
- The procedure and the technique that are followed to determine the cut-off point (or level of score of marks) to draw the line between successful candidates and others should be disclosed for each category of aspirants.
- Since the action relating to determination and application of cut-off point being an extremely critical factor in life and career of a person should fall under public domain, the information sought should be furnished since the matter is complete and over.
- On the grievance that the Selection Committee was not properly composed, there is no provision in the RTI Act for redress of such grievance. However, in order to ensure that persons of high caliber and integrity are associated with the process of selection, the composition of such Boards/Committees should be made public after the entire process of selection is over.
- Separate cut-off marks for General Studies and for every optional
- subject for different categories such as General, OBC, SC/ST and PH;
- Details of marks obtained by each candidate;
- Model answers for each series of every subject;
- Reasons behind re-conducting
UPSC consults the subject experts, designs the questions papers, and takes model answers in respect of each of such question papers. The question papers, which are prepared by subject experts for UPSC in a particular manner, are original literary works and as such copyright in respect thereto vests in the UPSC. Since this literary work has been done by the subject experts on behalf of the UPSC, it can legitimately claim copyrights thereof and can thereby restrict its circulation or can exclude others from circulating it. Since copyrights are part of Intellectual Property right, which is covered under Section 8(1) (d) of the Right to Information Act, this Commission cannot order its disclosure. Under Section 8 (1) of the RTI Act, the UPSC, therefore, has no obligation to disclose any such material unless it is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information.
The decision agreed to by the Full Bench is announced by the Chief Information Commissioner on this the 13th day of November 2006.
Decision is really a Landmark it will certinly act as good precedent for others. Now UPSC should start disclosing cut off for all exams conducted by it.
I still do not understand as to why UPSC thinks that the decision not to show the marks/cutoff is an copyrighted stuff?
Also will this allow all the previous batches to get the marks of preliminary exam, and also the cutoff?
UPSC is claiming Copyright only on questions and model answers prepared by its experts!
Copyright can been claimed in Orignal Literary work only. In case of UPSC it has to been seen on what basis they claimed it but one thing is sure that whatever they claimed as copyright they got sucess.
As far as pervious batches are concerned they can also get their marks and cutoff nothing stops them.
I believe the alibie of copyright by UPSC is only a precautionary measure to ward off future litigations. As once the marks and correct answer are declared there may be some cases where some candidates would like to take recourse to courts.
Originally Posted by aparna
The order talks about the disclosure of answers for 2006. I believe it is applicable for the prospective period.
Originally Posted by aparna
In order to have a retrospective effective the judgement should specifically mention this.
I will add to what Brajesh said.
The UPSC had argued that the scaling method and the question and answer keys were its intellectual property and could not be disclosed as they did not involve public interest.
However, the CIC ruled that the information would provide a level playing field to all the candidates and, therefore, it constituted larger public interest. But the CIC has conceded that since the UPSC consulted experts in designing question papers and obtaining answers -- which come under the purview of "literary work" protected under relevant sections of the Right to Information Act and also of the Copyright Act -- it could not order its disclosure.
But the CIC has also contended that the protection clause comes into play only when disclosing information impinges on the Copyright of an individual, not when it is infringement of Copyright of the State.
It has given the UPSC one month to deal with the issue and report back to the competent authority. So you need to cross your fingers till one month pass and UPSC finally decide about this issue.
Yes Brajesh & Maneesh, technically speaking all batches can get info about marks, if they are so preserved by UPSC?
All marks info are preserved by UPSC. Lets see whether they disclose the past one as well.
Thanks Kaushal for your detaled explaination.
Let someone apply and we wait for UPSC's Reply