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When Should Prelims Answer Key be Disclosed by UPSC?

By Vimlaksh | Discussion

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The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) uploads the answer key to the Prelims exam after completion of the current years exam cycle. For instance, for the 2017 Prelims, the answer key will be made public after announcing the final results of the civil services exam in April-May 2018.

However, by then, the topical interest in the Prelims answer keys has already passed since most of the aspirants have already filled the next years Prelims form or have already appeared for the Mains or the Interview.

To rectify this grievance, a group of 56 students have filed a writ petition before the Supreme Court against this practice of delayed announcement of answer keys to the Prelims exam as well as against the ambiguity in the questions asked in the Prelims.

Ambiguity in the Prelims Question Paper

The students have also alleged that the 2017 Prelims paper set by UPSC had many ambiguous questions with more than one plausible answer. One such question related to Indian Polity is as under:

Right to vote and to be elected in India is a:

(a) Fundamental Right

(b) Natural Right

(c) Constitutional Right

(d) Legal Right

The petitioners have referred to texts and past judgments to point out that some say it is a legal right while others describe it as a constitutional right. In such cases the student not only gets confused over the correct answer but may end up losing valuable time and marks by vacillating over the question for too long.

Why Does UPSC Delay Disclosing the Answer Key?

Perhaps the root problem lies in the delay in disclosing the answer keys by UPSC as discussed above. If the answer keys were made available timely after the announcement of the Prelims results, this confusion would not be present. However the inordinate time taken by UPSC to make the Prelims answer keys public is only adding to the confusion and frustration among the minds of lacs of IAS aspirants.

What is your opinion on this matter and do you agree whether UPSC should disclose the answer keys to the Prelims exam earlier than the 1 year time it takes presently?

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