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Does UPSC favour Muslims and give extra marks in IAS interview? Previous results reveal a shocking bias against other communities

Annotation 2020 08 27 162534

Many newspapers have highlighted the big success of Muslims in IAS exam this year. Some 50 Muslims cleared the prestigious exam this year. This is what one article said-

“But this year records of past several years were broken as nine out of 50 Muslims who cleared IAS exams secured their position in top 100 ranks.”

Given that the interview and written marks for the final selected candidates are available online, decided to check if there is any substantial difference between Muslims and other communities. The data (first 525 ranks) reveals that Muslims on average get 13 marks more at the interview stage as compared to other communities at the interview stage.

IAS-scatter plot for marks for two groups reveal Muslims get more marks on interview stage.

The above figure reveals the bias at interview stage in favour of Muslims as compared to other communities. Each dot (green-Muslim, red-Hindu) corresponds to one candidate, where x and y-axis are equal to marks scored on written and interview stage respectively by this candidate. As can be seen, green dots lie on the top with very few dots in the middle and low levels on y axis. Although, there are only 20 Muslim candidates in the first 525 ranks, but they seem to get higher grade than average on the interview.

The gray area shows 95% confidence interval and one can clearly see that at the interview stage, marks are very different for Muslims and Hindus (this is reflected by the fact that the gray bands around the regression line for two communities do not cross for higher values of written marks). If the two groups had same distribution statistically, then gray bands will cross at all level of written marks.

To look at how much more marks Muslims get on average, we run the following regression analysis:

Interview = β *written + Muslim + SC + ST + OBC

which gives:


What does this table tell?

  • Those Muslims who are selected on average get 13 marks more than other general candidates at the interview stage
  • SC/OBC get less marks at interview stage (6.65 and 2.60 respectively). ST candidates get 1.6 marks extra, but this result is not statistically significant. It is statistically significant only for SC candidates and they definitely get lower marks.
  • The slope β for written is negative, implying those with higher marks on written get low marks on interview stage. But this has to be interpreted carefully as those with low marks on both written as well as interview are not in this sample (don’t get selected or get low rank). So, this result comes from how the sample is selected and should not be interpreted in any way.

The average marks for all candidates at the interview stage are 167, with a standard deviation of around 15 marks. Since Muslims get 13 extra marks on the interview stage, they are almost getting one standard deviation extra marks than others. These 13 extra marks for Muslims means they are on average getting 8.7% higher marks than other candidates in the interview stage.

The biggest take away from the above table is that Muslims are even above the other reserved category Hindus in the #IOI rankings. While the reserved category candidates get fewer marks at the interview stage, Muslim candidates get much-much higher.

If you compare to SC candidates, Muslims are getting almost 20 marks higher than them. Now let all these details sink in, while remembering that these results are prepared under the so-called Hindu nationalist BJP government!

(The report has been published via ‘’ and is unchanged by The Tatva staff except the headline)

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