On Friday, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) declined to postpone the results of the UPSC Prelims 2023 exam, but it did give Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) notice in response to a request to lower the CSAT cutoff from 33% to 23%. The petitioner had stated that the questions' level of difficulty was comparable to the CAT and IIT-JEE.
Some candidates for the 2023 Civil Services Examination challenged the qualifying Part II (CSAT) exam held by UPSC last month and requested the Central Administrative Tribunal to order the Commission to reduce the cut off for Paper II CSAT from 33% to 23% due to the increased difficulty level of the questions, which were comparable to those asked in CAT and IIT JEE examinations.
According to Indian Masterminds, the petitioner had argued that the tribunal should order the commission to hold a re-examination for Paper II (CSAT) of the Prelims of the Civil Services Examination (CSE) 2023 if it couldn't loosen the cut-off scores. The applicants before the CAT have contended that, in accordance with the UPSC syllabus, the CSAT is designed to assess candidates' general aptitude, and that they should be able to successfully complete elementary comprehension, logical reasoning, and other Class X-level questions.
The argument makes it clear that the Paper II (CSAT) exam administered by the UPSC was not only outside of the syllabus but also unfair to applicants from low socioeconomic backgrounds who cannot afford specialised coaching, reside in rural areas, or are in the Arts stream. The applicants have also claimed that this year, at least ten questions came from a subject that is covered in the Class XI NCERT Mathematics Syllabus, and that other questions were from prior IIT JEE or CAT tests.
The plea added that since this exam contained questions that are outside of the syllabus and questions that are not at the level of Class X, same may be examined by an expert committee and then further action regarding these questions be taken on the basis of recommendations of the committee. When a qualifying paper is made that difficult, it excludes the candidates on the basis which has no nexus with the object of the exam, according to the plea.
The plea contends that while there is no prohibition against taking questions from other competitive exams, doing so should be in accordance with the overall objective of the recruitment as to what kind of candidate is to be selected. It is alleged that questions were even taken directly from the CAT and JEE-Advanced question papers.