The Supreme Court (SC) today asked the Centre to consider giving one more attempt to candidates who are in their last attempt for the Civil Services Exam (CSE). The bench said, “An extra attempt is sought for the ones who are taking the last attempt as they might not able to appear due to the pandemic.” The apex court further said, “Explore the possibility for giving them one more attempt to such exams without extending age limit”.
The top court also asked the UPSC to ensure separate sitting arrangements for candidates who are suffering from cough and cold during the test. There are 72 centres and 2500 sub-centres for the exam.
The Civil Services Exam (CSE) — held by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) — is scheduled to be conducted on October 4. In the previous hearing, UPSC told the court that it is not possible to postpone the exam as doing so will also defer the CSE prelims 2021.
The petitioners are demanding a postponement citing that holding an exam amid pandemic will be “lack of level playing field”. Severa states have including Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan among others have postponed the state-level public service exams. The petitioners also claim that no respite has been offered to people who are frontline corona workers including doctors, administrators etc who are also aspirants for the exam.
While on the request of not having equal opportunities, the court said that the pandemic has affected everyone.
On merging the preliminary exam for 2020 and 2021 attempts, the Supreme Court said, “We are not impressed by this. Resorting to this will lead to cascading effect on other exams as stated in Affidavit. UPSC should make available all facilities and follow all protocol,” as reported by Bar and Bench.
Several exams including the JEE and NEET — entrance exams for undergraduate engineering and medical colleges — have been conducted amid the pandemic. UPSC CSE is held to fill the IAS, IPS, and other such posts in the government sector.
According to the plea, this seven hours long offline exam will be taken by approximately six lakh aspirants at test centres in 72 cities across the country. The plea said the CSE, being a recruitment examination, is altogether different from an academic examination, and in the event of its postponement, there would not be any question of delay or loss of any academic session.
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