Supreme Court refused to postpone UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Examination scheduled for October 4, 2020. The Court agreed with the view of UPSC that the IAS/IPS exam cannot be delayed any further.
The Supreme Court of India refused to postpone the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) scheduled to start on October 4.
Earlier, UPSC had submitted before the Supreme Court that the Civil Service Exam cannot be deferred further. The Commission argued that the Exam was once postponed from May 31, 2020, to October 4, 2020.
Covid-19 and UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2020
About 20 civil services aspirants had approached the Supreme Court, seeking for the crucial exam to be deferred by two to three months because of Covid-19 and flood in different parts of the country.
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.
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) opposed the plea saying all necessary precautions have been taken and adequate arrangements have been made for holding the exam.
In its submission before the Supreme Court, the UPSC said it has already spent Rs 50.39 crore on logistical preparations for the exam, so its postponement would cost the exchequer greatly. UPSC had also raised the question that if JEE and NEET are already conducted, then why not UPSC CSE?
In its affidavit, the UPSC has also said those appearing for NEET and JEE are much younger than those appearing for the Civil Service Exam, and so, if the younger people can be managed by the government, there’s no reason why this exam would spread the virus.
Supreme Court refuses to postpone the UPSC Civil Services Exam 2020
The Supreme Court (on September 30, 2020) refused to postpone the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam, to be held on October 4, because of COVID-19 pandemic and floods in several parts of the country.
SC pointed out that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been followed in various public exams conducted recently and denied any special requests.
It agreed with the UPSC that any further delay in the conduct of the exam would have a “cascading effect” on future ones.
Explore the possibility of one more attempt to affected candidates, SC asks UPSC
Supreme Court 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. In this regard, we have impressed upon ASG Raju to explore the possibility for giving them one more attempt to such exams without extending the age limit.”
UPSC said that the concessions regarding age may only be made for those who are on their last attempt and/or are about to cross the age-limit and could not be made available to others. The apex court agreed to this view.
Supreme Court asks future Civil Servants to come out of their comfort zone
The apex court said, “…Every year there are some issues….This is not a case of students appearing, these are to be public servants and they should act like that. Come out of your shell and comfort zone.”
Ensure suitable accommodations, SC asks authorities
A Bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar asked the authorities to ensure that candidates with admit cards were able to find suitable accommodations near the exam centres/sub-centres.
The court said security and health protocols should be followed strictly.
10.58 lakh registered for UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2020
10.58 lakh candidates have enrolled for the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam 2020.
The examination is scheduled to be held at 72 centres (2569 sub-centres) across the country.
The UPSC said its logistical arrangements were complete. It had requested the Chief Secretaries to ensure the running of the public transport system on October 3 and 4. It had also written to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Railway Board to ensure trains are run across sectors to transport candidates.
The UPSC said social distancing norms have been put in place and coordinating supervisors across the 72 centres asked to ensure the smooth movement of candidates from micro-containment zones based on the e-Admit Cards without violating any Central/State government guidelines.
Not possible to postpone the exams any further: UPSC
The Commission said it had spent approximately ₹50.39 crores on the preparations for the exam.
As of September 28, 20 about 6.87 lakh candidates have already downloaded their admit cards.
The exam was initially scheduled for May 31, 2020, but shifted to October 4 due to the pandemic lockdown and restrictions, it stated.
“It is imperative that the vacancies in the services are filled up in time so that the public services do not suffer due to lack of manpower in the right place at the right point of time. Over the years, a cycle has evolved involving recruitment, training and final appointment ensuring that the government gets its requisite manpower on time. Any disruption at any stage has the potential of upsetting the entire cycle not only for once but is likely to have cascading effects in future as well”, the UPSC affidavit said.
“Due to the postponement of Civil Services (Prel.) Examination, 2020, the Main (written) parts of both these examinations have to be shifted to 2021. Any postponement of the Civil Services (Prel.) Examination, 2020 will not only impact the examinations which are lined up during the remaining part of the current year but will also entail further rescheduling of both the Main examinations as also the 2nd stage examinations of other examinations including their interviews, thereby impacting the examination calendar of the year 2020 as well as 2021”, the affidavit said.
The calendar of examination of 2021 had been placed on the website in which the Civil Services (Preliminary)Examination, 2021, is scheduled to be held on July 27, 2021, it noted.
The Commission, in case of any further postponement, would not be in a position to declare the final result of the Civil Services Examination, 2020, before the Civil Services (Prel.) Examination, 2021.
“Though there is a pandemic situation, life has to go on and the career of students cannot be put to peril”, it pointed out.
No merging of UPSC CSE 2020 with UPSC CSE 2021
Supreme Court refused to consider the plea for clubbing of UPSC civil services exam of 2020 with 2021 exams.