Less than 50% of civil service aspirants appeared for the Union Public Service Commission (Prelims) in Telangana on Sunday, August 7, with exam conducted peacefully despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Hyderabad. There were over 100 examination centres set-up in Hyderabad alone.
According to the examination cell in the Hyderabad Collectorate, out of 48,898 candidates, 21,611 attended the morning session (9.30 am to 11.30 am), registering the attendance percentage to 44.28%. Subsequently, in the afternoon session (2.30 pm to 4.30 pm), out of 48,898, only 21,236 candidates attended the exam, registering 43.53% of attendance.
The Hyderabad district administration had made elaborate arrangements to ensure that the UPSC Prelims went off successfully, despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in the city.
When asked about the low attendance this year, an official from the examination cell on condition of anonymity said, “There was no specific reason for low attendance. Despite, the PM visit to Hyderabad, we had instructed the police officials to allow candidates based on their hall tickets. Moreover, Telangana State Road Transport Corporation was plying enough buses for candidates to reach the examination centres on time. While we had set up a control room for UPSC candidates, no complaints were received.”
While students did not face much of trouble in reaching the examination centres, many faced inconvenience while returning home after the exams due to heavy traffic diversions set in place in view of the PM’s public address at 5 pm. “I took nearly one and a half hour to cover a distance of hardly 10 kilometres from Secunderabad to Banjara Hills as the traffic on SP road was unimaginable,” said Chalapathi Venkat Rao, an aspirant.
Meanwhile, coaching centres in Hyderabad expect that the minimum qualifying marks for this year could hover around 55%. “The paper was unpredictable with a dominant emphasis on current affairs. Almost all the flagship programmes of the government appeared in the form of questions. There were very few questions on the core aspects of the syllabus. The questions were designed to indirectly test the aptitude of the prospective aspirant for a career in the civil services. Prima facie it appears that the minimum qualifying mark could hover around 55%,” said Gopala Krishna from Brain Tree coaching centre in Himayat Nagar.