UPSC aspirants affected by covid-19 continue protest for extra attempt, age relaxation in 2023 exam

UPSC aspirants unable to appear or qualify for the civil service exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic ask government for compensatory attempt.


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UPSC Aspirants protest for a compensatory attempt in 2023 exams. (Picture: Twitter- @/GauravDevPande5)UPSC Aspirants protest for a compensatory attempt in 2023 exams. (Picture: Twitter- @/GauravDevPande5)

Ishita Ranganath | January 10, 2023 | 12:23 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Aspirants for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) civil service exams affected by the covid-19 pandemic join strength to protest for an extra attempt in UPSC CSE 2023 exam. Many aspirants either missed writing the exam or failed to qualify due to the death of a kin or contracting the virus themselves.

In December 2022, a large group of 60-70 UPSC aspirants gathered with a demand to be given an extra attempt in the civil services exam. The protest however, came to an end after the agitators were detained by the police for refusing to budge from their spot and setting up tents and mattresses in front of the media. These protestors were later released.

Also Read | 91 UPSC civil services exam 2021 candidates could not be allocated to any service: Centre

The UPSC CSE 2020 examinations were held amid the second wave of covid and many candidates could not appear for the exam. Such aspirants are now requesting the government to give them an extra attempt in the 2023 civil service examination and relaxing upper UPSC age limit.

In March 2022, The Supreme court was hearing a plea filed by three aspirants that cleared the UPSC 2021 prelims exam but could not appear in all papers of the main exam after testing positive for COVID-19. These candidates sought an extra attempt to appear in the exams. To this the court said, "The matter has been considered and it has not been found feasible to change the existing provisions regarding the number of attempts and age limit in respect of the CSE.”

The centre previously stated that any change in relaxation of age and number of attempts would trigger a chain reaction that would lead to similar demands being made by candidates appearing for other exams. The current age range for UPSC CSE candidates is 21 to 32 years with relaxation for certain categories.

The UPSC had recently told the top court there was no provision for holding a re-examination in case a candidate failed to appear in the test on the scheduled date for any reasons, including ailment or accident incapacitating them to take the exam. The petitioners called this rule and court's ruling "unfair" as they did not fail to appear in the exam but were forced to do so due to covid-19 mandate to go into quarantine.

The pleas of thousands of UPSC aspirants remain unanswered and have therefore resorted to gathering on the streets in hopes that the authorities would listen to their demands.

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