The Union Public Service Commission on Thursday denied that the recruitment through Civil Services Examination, 2019, is lower than the posts notified. The UPSC shortlisted 829 candidates this year for various services against 927 vacancies notified by it.

In a statement, the commission said “misleading information” was being circulated over the difference of 98 candidates. This came a day after the hashtag “UPSC_Scam” trended on Twitter for several hours. Allegations surfaced that the UPSC was not publicly declaring the names of all selected candidates to enable “backdoor or lateral entry” to the prestigious services.

The UPSC said it is a routine practice to recruit fewer candidates than the posts notified by it in the official list. “For recruitment to the services/post under Civil Services Examination, the commission strictly goes by the Rules of Examination as notified by the Government of India,” it added. “It is hereby clarified that as against 927 vacancies for Civil Services Examination, 2019, the commission, in the first instance, has released the result of 829 candidates and has also maintained a Reserve List in accordance with Rule-16 (4) & (5) of Civil Services Examination Rules, 2019.”

Every year, the UPSC selects fewer candidates than the positions it notifies, The Print reported. In 2018, the commission notified 812 positions and selected 759 candidates. In 2017, the commission picked 990 candidates from 1,058 notified vacancies. In 2016, it notified 1,209 positions and 1,099 candidates were selected.

The UPSC said in its statement that it maintains a Reserve List and that it is necessary to keep it confidential in accordance with the rules. “This is a standard practice since decades, so that in case candidates belonging to reserve categories who are selected at general standards, wish to choose services and cadre based on their reserve status if it is beneficial for them, the resultant vacancies may be filled up from the Reserve List,” it added.