The Centre has told the Supreme Court it is willing to give another chance to UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) candidates who exhausted their last attempt after appearing for the preliminary exam on October 4, 2020 amid COVID-19 pandemic.
The Centre, through additional solicitor general SV Raju, submitted a note to the top court stating this is a one-time exception and will be restricted to those who exhausted their last attempt. The Centre also said age-barred candidates shall be allowed to sit for the exam.
The bench, comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwar, said they’ll hear the matter on Monday (February 8) and asked the Centre to circulate the note to all lawyers appearing for the close to 100 candidates, who’ve been demanding another chance at the exam.
The petitioners said they were demanding another chance to appear for the exam as they were serving as frontline workers during the pandemic, and therefore, did not get enough time to prepare. Some petitioners also claimed they stay in remote areas lacking proper internet connectivity due to which they were unable to access online study material.
The Centre changed its earlier stance of not allowing aspiring candidates another chance at appearing for the exams. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had informed the Supreme Court that the Centre was considering the possibility when the matter was listed previously.
The Union Public Service Commission, which conducts CSE, allows candidates belonging to the general category six attempts up to the age of 32, nine for candidates belonging to the Other Backward Classes category up to age of 35 and unlimited attempts, up to the age of 37, to candidates belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes categories.