“There is a systematic discrimination in awarding marks of the interview to reserved category candidates,” Rajendra Pal Gautam, Minister of Social Welfare at Government of Delhi, said in a letter written to Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) chairperson, Pradeep Kumar Joshi. The letter highlighted the issue of caste-based discrimination faced by candidates in the interview and suggested ways to improve the situation.
Gautam, in the letter, mentioned that he received several representations from multiple candidates from the reserved category regarding the issue discussed above. “The discrimination can be eliminated if the Interview Boards members are not made aware of the caste of the candidate, and the candidates are chosen randomly instead of clubbing general and reserved category separately,” the minister added, suggesting methods to deal with the issue.
UPSC में अनुसूचित जाति/जनजाति व अन्य पिछड़ा वर्ग के अभ्यर्थियों की जाति की जानकारी साक्षात्कार लेने वालों को पहले से होती है तथा साक्षात्कार में अंक देने में भेदभाव की खबरें अक्सर आती रहती हैं।अभ्यर्थी की जाति का पता साक्षात्कार लेने वाले को पहले से न हो।@Profdilipmandal pic.twitter.com/BNcb5y5Jqt— Rajendra Pal Gautam (@AdvRajendraPal) July 16, 2021
The minister tweeted the letter, tagging Professor Dilip Mondal, a renowned journalist, in the caption. The official handle of the Aam Aadmi Party retweeted the post with the gist of the letter written in the caption.
Delhi Cabinet Minister Shri @AdvRajendraPal writes to UPSC Chairman-➡️Discrimination in awarding marks can be eliminated by keeping the caste of the candidate hidden
➡️Interviewees should be chosen randomly instead of clubbing reserved & general category separately https://t.co/qFKARw7szX
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) July 16, 2021
In February 2021, the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry prepared a report and submitted it to the government, suggesting a similar way to deal with caste discrimination in UPSC. The report said that UPSC should not reveal the surnames of the candidate as the social background of a candidate is guessed based on their surnames which can lead to discrimination in the interview. It noted that these policies were designed in the 70s and needed to be revamped according to the contemporary socio-economic reforms.
In the wake of the prevailing conditions of the pandemic, UPSC on May 13 postponed the Civil Services Examination (Preliminary) 2021 till October. It was earlier scheduled to be conducted on June 27.