Not possible to postpone civil service exams: UPSC tells SC

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Monday informed the Supreme Court that it is impossible to defer the Civil Services Preliminary 2020 as all logistical arrangements have already been made. A 3-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar asked UPSC to put this stand in affidavit along with the arrangements made. The matter will be heard on Wednesday.

The bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, BR Gavai, and Krishna Murari has directed the UPSC to file its affidavit in the case by tomorrow.

Twenty civil services aspirants had approached the Supreme Court, seeking the crucial exam to be deferred by two to three months due to the flood situation in several parts of the country along with the coronavirus crisis. The exam, which was earlier scheduled on May 31, was rescheduled to October 4 due to the pandemic

The plea said the Civil Services Exam, 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.

It said that due to non-availability of exam centres in their home towns, many aspirants are facing unimaginable hardship due to non-availability of or unsafe health conditions in, the PG accommodation/ hostels/ hotels etc, where they are forced to stay with their family members, once they are travelling to an outstation Examination Centre.

It is pertinent to mention here that despite alarming spurt in COVID-19 pandemic, UPSC did not increase the number of Examination Centres, resulting into a situation where many candidates from rural areas will be forced to travel for around 300-400 Kilometres, in order to reach to their Examination Centres and there will be high probability of such aspirants, getting affected while using public transportation for such travel, the plea said.

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