This has, mainly, affected those candidates for whom Civil Services Prelims 2017 was the last attempt.
"In such a circumstance, a more astute student would know that from authoritative texts two correct answers were possible. Such a student would avoid answering the question at all since negative marks were awarded for a wrong answer. The result would be that if the student chooses not to answer the question he would lose two marks, and should he answer but not as per the corresponding 'key' he would be marked negatively and would lose 2.67 marks," the petitioners, represented by Satya Mitra said to The Hindu.
'For each correct answer, the student gets 2 marks and for each incorrect answer, 0.67 marks are deducted from the total marks scored. Therefore, ambiguity in four questions puts 10.66 marks at stake which is nearly an insane 10 percent of the expected cut-off, says Vishal one of the petitioners.
Aspirants are dissatisfied with the norms of UPSC for releasing the answer keys. The Commission usually releases the keys after the completion of the selection process. "What is an opaque practice of the UPSC is to release the answer key after the completion of the entire selection process. This means that answer key for UPSC CS Preliminary Examination 2017 will be released sometime in May-June 2018. By this time students would have appeared for the UPSC CS Mains Examination 2017 and UPSC CS Personality Test 2017, and UPSC would have already published the final selection list, i.e. entire selection process would be over," the petition said.
The Supreme Court will hear the case on 13 October.
"This is arbitrary and prevents the students from making good their case that the correct answers were either not correct at all or were not the only correct answer," the petitioner contended.