A fact-check into social media claims that Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s daughter Anjali Birla cleared the country’s top civil services examination without even appearing for the highly competitive, three-test process have revealed that they are are false.
News agency AFP scanned the merit roll for Civil Services (Main) Examination – 2019 and found Ms Anjali’s name and roll number in it. The list is also available on the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) website.
Social media posts claiming the candidate benefitted from her father’s position, and was selected through “backdoor channels” by ignoring other possibly more deserving but less privileged candidates, have been doing the rounds over the past few days.
An online rumour in India that politician Om Birla’s daughter passed the top civil service exam without even taking the test is false ❌
Official records show Anjali Birla took both the preliminary and main test in 2019 ????️???? https://t.co/2klAxyJe4C
— AFP Fact Check ???? (@AFPFactCheck) January 19, 2021
Dismissing the rumours, Ms Birla also shared the experience of speaking with another news agency, The Quint, about the false claims and shared a post on her personal Instagram account.
“The Quint approached me to do a fact check on rumours going viral on internet that I got into civil services without giving any exam. When I read this viral tweet/post I laughed… Rumours have always been fun to hear but I haven’t come across such a baseless, mindless criticism,” she said.
Anjali Birla further explained the process of cracking the UPSC exam for the uninitiated.
“UPSC Civil Services Exam is conducted in three stages stretched over a year and you can ONLY become a civil servant if you PASS all three of them. The UPSC CSE is extremely fair and transparent process, there is no backhand entry. Please respect the institution at least,” she wrote.
She also expressed her dismay at having to produce documents to show that she had “cleared all the three stages”.
“I missed (my) name on the first list by only 8 marks in general category… It is wrong to discredit someone’s blood and sweat only because of prevailing stereotypes,” she added.
Thanking “people who came out in support, who gave facts and had put plain logical reasoning in rebutting these baseless claims”, Ms Birla hoped “sense grows” and wished that the society can “remove harshness and mindlessness from the internet”.
The IAS exam, also known as the Civil Services Examination, is a highly competitive testing process for candidates seeking to join the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), the administrative branch of the Indian government. The test is administered by the UPSC every year.
(With input from AFP)