A claim is viral across social media alleging that Anjali Birla, the daughter of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, has become an IAS officer without clearing the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination.

A parody account of social media activist Dhruv Rathee recently claimed that Anjali Birla was a model by profession and by dint of her father’s powerful position, she cleared the UPSC examination without actually taking the test. The post has racked up a whopping 25 Lakh views and has been re-tweeted more than 10,000 times.

The same user has shared several tweets with similar claims.

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We found several other posts on X alleging that Anjali Birla had benefited from her father’s political position. Some claimed she had become an IAS officer through unfair means. (Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

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The official Facebook account of the Manipur Congress Committee claimed that Om Birla’s “modeling daughter” had “suddenly appeared for the IAS exam” and became an IAS officer through unfair means.

Om Birla’s modeling daughter ‘Anjali Birla’ suddenly appeared for the IAS exam and became an IAS officer in the first attempt.
How did this happen?It is wonderful happening.
NEED to check!!

Posted by Indian National Congress – Manipur on Friday 28 June 2024

We also found media reports describing Anjlai Birla as an IAS officer. These include reports by Zee-owned news website india.com, India Today group’s News Tak and Dainik Jagran. The Jagran report headline said, “OM Birla की बेटी क्या अपनी मेहनत से बनी IAS? या Anjali को हुआ पिता के नाम का फायदा?” [Did Om Birla’s daughter become an IAS through her own hard work? Or did she benefit from her father’s identity?”

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The claim is also viral on Facebook. A user named Sanjib Sardar wrote Anjali Birla “became an IAS officer in the first attempt without sitting for any examination.”

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Fact Check

We ran a relevant keyword search, and it led us to an article by NDTV from January 2021, in which Anjali Birla, then 23, spoke to an NDTV anchor and refuted the allegations that she had cleared the exam through ‘backdoor channels.’ This shows that such allegations are not new.

In the interview, Anjali Birla goes on to say that she studied for 8 to 12 hours to crack the UPSC exam in her first attempt. She also thanks her elder sister for guidance and motivation. Further, she exhorts social media users to not be so gullible as to believe everything on the internet, and mar someone’s reputation and hard work on the basis of unfounded claims.

We found that Anjali Birla’s name showed up on the official reserved list of recommended candidates on the UPSC website from 2019. A screenshot of the same is attached below, attesting to the fact that her name did feature in the results for the Civil Services examination in 2019.

According to UPSC rules, “along with this list of recommended candidates, the Commission … also maintain(s) a consolidated reserve list of candidates”. This is a list of “candidates from general and reserved categories ranking in order of merit below the last recommended candidate under each category. The reserve list so maintained … (is) treated as confidential till the process of recommendations(s) in terms of sub‐rule (5) is finally concluded by the Commission.”

Anjali Birla’s roll number, which shows up as 0851876, was also found on the 2019 UPSC Preliminary Examination results as well as Mains results. See below:

Alt News also found the service allocation list released by the UPSC in 2019, which showed that Anjali Birla had not been allocated the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) as claimed by many users and media outlets, but the Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS). Civil servants in this service are tasked with managing the human resources of the Indian Railways and welfare of railway employees and their families.

We checked IRPS officers’ list on the website of Indian Railways Personnel Service. We found that Anjali Birla was posted as an assistant personnel officer for Northern Railways.

Anjali Birla has also appeared in an interactive session with Vision IAS, a training institute for civil services examination. In this video, dating back to February 2021, she shared her experiences of preparing for the UPSC examination.

To conclude, the allegations that Om Birla’s daughter Anjali Birla has become an IAS officer without sitting for the UPSC examination are false. Alt News found that she had cracked the civil services examination in 2019, and was allocated the Indian railway Personnel Service. She is not an IAS officer.

Prantik Ali is an intern at Alt News.

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