‘UPSC Jihad Par Ab Tak Ka Sabse Bada Khulasa’ aired a bulletin on Sudarshan News by Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke on Friday, 11 September.
Bulletin talked about the structure and functioning which preferred the Muslim community.
Let’s fact-check the claims being made by Chavhanke’s show :
Claim 1: Benefit in Upper Age Limit
UPSC’s 2020 notifications and the guidelines related to age limit:
- For Muslim OBC candidates, the relaxation is up to three years, which means, until 35 years of age. Whereas, for non-Muslims, it is 32 years.
These rules apply to all the candidates belonging to backward classes and not to Muslims alone.
However, there is no mention of any cumulative age relaxation if a candidate is a Muslim and an OBC.
Therefore, no religion is defined in the guidelines.
Claim 2: Benefit in Number of Attempts in Examination
Chavhanke says, “Jab mere OBC bhai ke category mein ghus kar koi pareeksha deta hai, toh uska kitna asar hota hai…jab hamaara general category mein pareeksha dene vaala vyakti hai usko 6 attempt karne ka mauka milta hai, aur jo Muslim, us benefit ke kaaran, 9 attempt dene ka fyada usko milta hai.”
Defining the no. of attempts, he emphasizes on claiming Muslim candidates can appear in examination in 9 attempts whereas, Hindu candidate gets to appear 6 times.
The February 2020 notification mentions that each general category candidate is indeed permitted six attempts at the examination.
It further mentions that the candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes are allowed as many as nine attempts.
Thus, while there are some categories of persons who can get nine attempts rather than six.
However, clarifying based on Other Backward Classes, other classes rather than Muslims are undermined.
The numbers have been falsely linked to religious identities.
Claim 3: Interviewer Says Muslims Given a ‘Different Treatment’
In Chavhanke’s show, he focused on mock interviews which are different from actual interviews. However, they are indeed different but his half clarified claim screening the video from YouTube from Drishti IAS Academy on 22 August showing the part where the interviewer says, “Your interview would not be like an ordinary interview. There are many reasons for this. One reason is your age and the other is your community.”
Essentially, mock interviews have been conducted to prepare students for the actual interview in UPSE without any discrimination.
Furthermore, the video screening just a part of a larger video, there is more of what the interviewer says. He says, “Your interview would not be like an ordinary interview. There are many reasons for this. One reason is your age and the other is your community. Very few Muslim candidates get interviewed and we tell almost everybody to be prepared for this. This has advantages and disadvantages.”
The interviewer further says, “You will have to face the prejudices in the minds of the board members. These prejudices can be regarding your age and sometimes regarding your community.”
He further adds that these prejudices might not always be negative but they “view sometimes differently”.
Claim 4: Coaching Centers Set Up in Muslim Universities to Favor Muslims
Chavhanke mentions a list of favors given to Muslim candidates and states former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set up five coaching institutes for UPSC. He adds, “Out of these, four of them were set up in Muslim universities.”
The five universities Chavhanke is talking about are:
- Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI),
- Jamia Hamdard University,
- Aligarh Muslim University,
- Maulana Azad National Urdu University, and
- Bhimrao Ambedkar University.
The coaching centers were certainly set up in these universities. However, it wasn’t established for the advantage of Muslims alone.
Former University Grants Commission Chairman Ved Prakash under which the coaching centers were set up said it was focused on increasing the representation of backward castes and minorities in civil services.
He further adds, “It was felt that minorities and people from the SC, ST communities are not fairly represented in civil services, hence the coaching centers were started in five universities.”
Also, according to the Jamia Millia Islamia’s website mentioning that university’s Residential Coaching Academy (RCA) providing free coaching to “minorities, SCs, STs and women (of all communities) for Civil Services (Preliminary-cum-Main).”
Some of the prerogatives which are made by Suresh Chavhanke in his bulletin are either fabricated or taken out of the framework.