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:
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. 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:
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.
Getting to see their corrected answer sheets on demand looks possible for Calcutta University (CU) students, thanks to Right to Information (RTI).
The state information commission on Tuesday directed the university to show a former student his evaluated answer script. The student was unhappy with his marks in the B.Com Part II Accountancy (Honours) examination of 2006.
The commission, however, added that the university should protect the identity of the examiner and scrutinizer who marked the answer script.
The university syndicate on Wednesday decided unanimously to accept the commissionâ€™s directive. Suranjan Das, pro vice-chancellor (academic affairs), said that the university was ready to show the student his script.
Utsav Dutta, the petitioner, now an MBA student in New Delhi, said: â€œWhen the results came out in July 2006, I found I had fared badly in some papers.â€ He contacted the university, which okayed a scrutiny, but turned down his request to show him the answer script. â€œI moved high court, which directed the university to show me the script. But the university cited internal problems.â€
In September, Dutta filed a petition using the RTI clause. â€œBut I still failed to get it and then moved the commission.â€
The commissioner summoned the CU registrar, who acts as the universityâ€™s principal information officer (PIO), and directed him to provide Dutta with the data.
Initially, the university officials said such disclosures were exempted under the RTI. The commission held another hearing in early December.
â€œAfter that, we directed the PIO to disclose the information, as it does not come under the exempted category,â€ said Arun Bhattacharyya, information commissioner.
Dutta, who lost a semester in MBA because he was not issued a marksheet, is yet to receive any communication from the university.
The directive may have far-reaching implications. â€œSince this will set a precedent, more students may approach us. We are considering guidelines for showing scripts to undergraduates and steps are being taken to preserve the scripts,â€ said pro vice-chancellor Das.
About 20 lakh undergraduate answer scripts are examined every year.
â€œThe CU authorities and examiners will now be alert, as they can at last be made answerable,â€ said M. Bhattacharjee, an activist of the RTI Manch in the state.
The Telegraph - Calcutta : Metro