UPSC yet to take a stand

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is yet to formulate its next course of action following the Central Information Commission (CIC) direction on Monday to disclose individual marks and cut-off marks in all subjects and categories within two weeks to candidates who had appeared at the Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2006.

A senior UPSC official said the Commission had not yet formed a view.

"We are studying the decision and will decide accordingly," said the official, adding that the Commission did not have any comment to make on whether it was going to follow the directions of the CIC.

Besides disclosing cut-off marks and individual marks, the CIC has also asked the UPSC to examine the possibility of disclosing the scaling method and also the model answers.

Intellectual property

The UPSC had argued that the scaling method and the question and answer keys were its intellectual property and could not be disclosed as they did not involve public interest.

However, the CIC ruled that the information would provide a level playing field to all the candidates and, therefore, it constituted larger public interest. But the CIC has conceded that since the UPSC consulted experts in designing question papers and obtaining answers -- which come under the purview of "literary work" protected under relevant sections of the Right to Information Act and also of the Copyright Act -- it could not order its disclosure.

But the CIC has also contended that the protection clause comes into play only when disclosing information impinges on the Copyright of an individual, not when it is infringement of Copyright of the State.

It has given the UPSC one month to deal with the issue and report back to the competent authority.

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