UPSC Postponement: After candidates of competitive exams such as the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) moved the Supreme Court seeking postponement of the exams, UPSC aspirants also did the same. A petition was filed by aspirants from various parts of the country seeking postponement of the civil services preliminary examinations due to pandemic and massive rains. According to the petitioners, unlike JEE and NEET exams, the UPSC exam is a recruitment exam therefore, can be postponed.
The UPSC exams were supposed to be held in May, but it was postponed to October 4th, 2020 due to the pandemic. The petition which was filed by 20 aspirants, sought postponement of the UPSC Prelim exams for two-three months. The petitioner says that the exam should be conducted once the incessant rains go away and the Covid-19 curve flattens. In their plea, candidates have cited travel difficulties and the risk of contracting the coronavirus risks.
In fact, an Assistant Commandant of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) who is to appear in the examination also submitted a fresh application in the case urging for postponement of the preliminary examination.
The petition points out that holding the exam will discriminate among candidates from majorly affected states and others, where Covid-19 cases are less.
According to a TOI report, the petition stated, “Conducting the aforesaid examination across India at such perilous time, is nothing else but putting lives of lakhs of young students (including Petitioners herein) at utmost risk and danger of disease and death. Also, the natural calamities like floods, incessant rain, landslides, etc. are likely to directly affect the life and health of the Petitioners and many similarly situated students. Hence, the impugned Revised Calendar is utterly arbitrary, unreasonable, whimsical, and patently violative of the “Right to Health” and “Right to Life” of the Petitioners herein and lakhs of similarly situated students, under Article 21.”
It further said that “It is pertinent to mention here that despite an 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 a high probability of such aspirants, getting affected while using public transportation for such travel.”
Advocate Naresh Kaushik representing the UPSC said deferment of the examination will hurt the process and added UPSC will find it completely impossible to agree with this. The apex court bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Krishna Murari, and BR Gavai heard the matter and directed UPSC to file an affidavit citing the logical reasons for not postponing the examination. This affidavit will be filed by September 29 and the matter will be taken up for hearing tomorrow, Septemeber 30.