Centre to SC: Can’t give extra attempt to UPSC aspirants who couldn’t take last chance

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of India

The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court it is not keen on granting an extra attempt to civil services aspirants, who could not take the last attempt of the exam amid the on-going Covid-19 pandemic.

Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, representing the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) submitted before a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar “We are not ready to give one more chance.”

Raju sought time to file an affidavit citing that he had received instructions last night, informing that the Centre is not willing to give an extra chance.

The bench, also comprising justices B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari, scheduled the plea of a civil services aspirant Rachna Singh for further hearing on January 25. The bench asked the Centre to serve the affidavit to parties involved in the matter.

In the previous hearing in the matter, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had informed the top court that the government was considering the issue to grant an extra attempt to UPSC aspirants who missed their last chance.

On September 30 last year, the top court had declined a plea seeking direction to postpone the UPSC civil services preliminary exam, scheduled on October 4, citing the ongoing pandemic and floods in several parts of the country.

The top court had suggested that a formal decision on the last attempt issue should be taken expeditiously by the Centre. The bench noted it was suggested during the hearing in the matter that the merging of 2020 prelims and 2021 prelims be done.

“We are not impressed by this. Resorting to this will lead to a cascading effect on other exams as stated in UPSC affidavit”, the top court had said.

The bench had said the UPSC should ensure separate sitting arrangements for candidates who are suffering from cough and cold during the test.

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