Civil services aspirants have cited disruptions caused by Covic-19 pandemic to suggest this year’s Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam be merged with next year’s exercise.
The prestigious exam is scheduled for October 4 and was initially supposed to be held on May 31.
The online petition circulating via change.org also suggests adding this year’s notified number of posts to the ones notified for the 2021 exam. The demand had received 9,000 online signatures by Saturday.
If it is not possible to postpone the exam, the petitioners added, a compensatory attempt should be offered to aspirants who are left with just one shot to clear the exams.
The preliminary examination is the first stage of the three-stage Civil Service Examination (CSE). After giving prelims, the candidate has to get ready for Mains within 90 days, followed by the interviews.
“The number of cases of Covid-19 is not plateauing. Even the vaccine is not available as of date. In these times of uncertainty where the pandemic is inching towards three million and started spreading beyond cities, we feel unsafe to take up any assignment that requires movement beyond our native place,” the petition adds.
“I live in a small town where there are no positive cases till date, but the fear of infection is real. What if I contract the disease while travelling by train to the exam centre? This is a genuine concern that the government must take into consideration,” a UPSC candidate told The Federal.
Another aspirant, who has just one attempt left to clear the exam, said, “Corona pandemic has disturbed everything. It is difficult to concentrate on studies as well. If I fail to clear the exams this year, my dream to serve the nation will be shattered forever.”
Asked if there was a chance that the exam could be postponed again, a UPSC official told ThePrint that they are monitoring the situation on a daily basis, and a “call will be taken closer to the date”.
As of Saturday, India had over 6.6 lakh active Covid-19 cases, with over 18 lakh recoveries and 49,036 deaths.