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Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla’s daughter’s name did appear in the Reserve List of selection for the Civil Services Examination, 2019

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A post is being shared on social media claiming that Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla’s daughter Anjali Birla had become Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer without appearing for the Civil Services Examination (CSE). This post claims that Anjali Birla was selected as an IAS officer through back-door entry using her father’s position. This post claims it as a display of complete misuse of power which will affect the reliability of the country’s most trusted examination. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.      

The archived version of the post can be seen here.

Claim: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s daughter Anjali Birla was selected for IAS without giving the Civil Services Examination (CSE).

Fact: Om Birla’s daughter Anjali Birla did appear for the main and preliminary examinations of the Civil Services Examination (CSE), 2019. She was selected in the consolidated reserve list released about five months after the first list of CSE main examination results. Anjali Birla shared her CSE admit card and the Detailed Application Form (DAF) to several news websites. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.

On searching the internet with relevant keywords, it is found out that Om Birla’s daughter Anjali Birla has cleared the 2019 Civil Services Examination (CSE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). According to the media reports, Anjali Birla’s name was listed in the consolidated reserve list released on 04 January 2021, about five months after the Civil Services Examination final result was declared on 04 August 2020.

On 04 January 2021, The Union Public Service Commission recommended 89 reserve list candidates to fill up the remaining vacancies based on the Civil Services Examination, 2019. We found Anjali Birla’s name and her Roll Number (0851876) in the selected 89 reserve candidates list released by the UPSC. Also, we found the Anjali Birla Roll number in the preliminary examination result list of CSE 2019.  So, the official records confirm that Anjali Birla took both the preliminary and mains examinations of the CSE, 2019.

In January 2021, Anjali Birla through an Instagram post dismissed these rumours being spread on social media. She termed them baseless and mindless criticism. Anjali Birla in her Instagram post said, “UPSC Civil Services Exam is conducted in three stages stretched over a year & you can only become a civil servant if you pass all three of them. UPSC CSE is an extremely fair & transparent process, there is no backhand entry. Please respect the institution at least. It’s sad that I had to produce documents to show that I cleared all the three stages!!!”.  Anjali Birla said that she had missed the first list by only 8 marks in the General category. Further, Anjali Birla tagged ‘The Quint’ fact-check article in which she gave a detailed clarification regarding the false news being spread on social media. Anjali Birla shared a copy of her Admit card and the Detailed Application Form (DAF) to ‘The Quint’ fact-check team.

‘NDTV’ did a live interview with Anjali Birla regarding these rumours on her clearing Civil Services Examination without even appearing for the examination.  Speaking to the NDTV, Anjali Birla said, “I was taken aback that I have to explain after giving an exam that I did study for it. But I feel it made me stronger because later on, I would face such unfounded criticism even more in life. It made me mature as a person”. NDTV had also telecast the 2019 CSE admit card of Anjali Birla and confirmed that she had appeared for the Civil Services Examination 2019.

The Civil Services Examination is conducted annually by the UPSC in three stages ie; Preliminary, Mains, and Interview. After the interview, the commission decides on a general qualifying standard and releases the first list of candidates who have successfully cleared the cut-off marks without any relaxations. Apart from these, the Commission, in accordance with Rule 16 (4) & (5)  of the  Civil  Services Examination Rules, maintains a Consolidated Reserve List in order of merit below the last recommended candidate under the respective categories. The commission releases the reserve candidates list about six months after the main result of the respective CSE. In the 2019 Civil Services Examination, the number of vacancies declared by the government was 927, but the number of successful candidates declared by the UPSC in the first list was 829. Later, the commission recommended 89 reserve list candidates for different Civil Services as sought by the Department of Personnel & Training (DOP&T). When these rumours on backdoor entry in CSE went viral on social media, the UPSC issued a press release clarifying the selection procedure of the reserve candidates list.

To sum it up, Om Birla’s daughter Anjali Birla did appear for all three examination stages in the CSE, 2019.

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