SC rejects plea for pandemic affected UPSC exam extra attempt

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New Delhi, Feb 24 (PTI): The Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed a plea seeking an extra chance for UPSC civil services exam aspirants who exhausted their last attempt in October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A bench headed by Justices A M Khanwilkar said that it was dismissing the plea filed by a civil services aspirant for the extra chance citing difficulties faced in preparations during the pandemic.

The Centre informed the top court on February 9 that it is against granting one-time relaxation on age limit to UPSC civil service aspirants, including those who had exhausted their last attempt in the 2020 exam amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as it would be discriminatory to other candidates.

The candidates from general category are allowed six attempts for the UPSC civil services exam till the age of 32; the OBC, nine attempts till 35 years and the SC/ST candidates unlimited attempts till they turn 37.

The Centre was initially not willing to give an extra chance to the candidates but it had later agreed to do so at the suggestion of the bench.

It had on February 5 told the apex court that it was agreeable to giving an extra chance as a one-time relaxation to those civil service aspirants who had appeared in their last attempt in the 2020 exam and are not age-barred.

However, the bench on Wednesday dismissed the petition of Rachna and others.

The Centre had earlier furnished a chart in the apex court giving details of relaxation given by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in civil services exams since its inception and had said that in 1979, 1992 and 2015 relaxations were given to the candidates due to change in patterns of the examination.

The top court on September 30 last year had refused to postpone the UPSC civil services preliminary exam because of the COVID-19 pandemic and floods in several parts of the country.

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