Following opposition from the Maratha community, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday announced that the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) exam, which was scheduled to be held on Sunday for 200 posts, has been deferred again due to requests from students of various communities.
This is the fourth time the MPSC exam has been postponed since April due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While twice the exam had been postponed due to the lockdown, once it was deferred as it clashed with the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET).
“After discussions, we have decided to defer the MPSC exam further for some time. In the last four months, schools, colleges and study centres have been closed due to the pandemic. While the Maratha community had requested that the exam be postponed, a section of students from other communities also said they need some time to study and prepare for the exams. Considering all these aspects, the MPSC exam, to be held on Sunday, has been deferred further,” Uddhav told mediapersons.
He added that the new exam date will be announced by MPSC.
The decision came on the back of Uddhav’s meetings with various Maratha organisations over the last few days, including a meeting held through video conference on Friday. Some Maratha leaders, expressing their opposition to the exam, argued that Maratha students would be at a disadvantage as the quota meant for the community has been stayed by Supreme Court last month.
Earlier, Other Backward Classes (OBC) leaders and state ministers Chhagan Bhujbal and Vijay Wadettiwar had said that the exam should be held as per schedule as students from other communities should not be deprived of their right to get jobs.
Ashok Chavan, PWD Minister and chairman of the Cabinet sub-committee on Maratha reservation, however, maintained that there is no relation between the stay on Maratha reservation and the deferment of the MPSC exam, which he attributed to the pandemic.
As per the schedule, the MPSC preliminary exam, to fill up 200 posts in various departments, was supposed to be held on April 5. It was first postponed to September 13 amid the lockdown. However, since the NEET was scheduled for September 13, clashing with MPSC, the exam was rescheduled again to September 20.
In August, the government again decided to postpone all MPSC exams until further notice and it was later scheduled to be held on October 11. Around 2.5 lakh students appear for the MPSC exams every year.
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