Covid-19: Centre changes decision, gives civil service aspirants extra attempt

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: Taking a U-turn, the Centre on Friday agreed to provide an extra attempt to the UPSC civil services examination candidates who had failed to appear in the October exams due to the Covid pandemic. 

A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar had taken note of the submissions of Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing on behalf of the DoPT.

The court will hear the matter in details on Monday. It was hearing a plea by candidates who had appeared for their last attempt in the civil services (preliminary) examination, 2020 held on October 4.

The Centre has clarified that relaxation, only to the extent of providing one extra attempt for Civil Service Examination (CSE), specifically limited to CSE 2021, may be granted to only those candidates who appeared for CSE-2020 as their last permissible attempt and are otherwise not age-barred from appearing in CSE 2021.

Further, no relaxation shall be granted for CSE 2021 to those candidates who have not exhausted their permissible number of attempts or to those candidates who are otherwise age-barred from appearing in CSE 2021 as per the prescribed age limits of different categories, or to any other candidate for other reason whatsoever.

“This relaxation for the candidates and to the extent as prescribed above, shall be a one-time relaxation only and shall apply only for appearing in CSE 2021 and shall not be treated as a precedent,” the Centre told the bench.

The top court on September 30 last year had refused to postpone the UPSC civil services preliminary exam because of the pandemic and floods in several parts of the country.

However, it had directed the government and the UPSC to consider granting an extra chance to candidates who had their last attempt in 2020, with corresponding extension of the upper age-limit.