The Supreme Court heard the plea for postponement of the IAS Prelims 2020 today and subsequently dismissed the petition with strict directives to the UPSC regarding candidate density per exam center. Besides this, SC has also asked UPSC to give the COVID warriors another extra chance to attempt the exam next year, for whom this is their last chance. All preparatory measures for the exam have been taken already including dispatching supervisors to exam venue, attendance sheets and more- all of which estimate to INR 50 crore expense, as per the affidavit provided by UPSC and cancellation can lead to loss of all the arrangements and finance. Also read- Mask mandatory at IAS Prelims 2020
During the argument for and against the petition to postpone the exam, it was becoming clear that the chances of the exam being postponed are negligible. Postponing the exam would have led to a clash with other subsequent exams conducted by the organization which would have led to further complications. The following are the proceeding of the court in today’s session:
- SC questioned UPSC arrangments made for officers who are also the COVID warriors who are not getting leaves for appearing for the exam this year.
- Naresh Kaushik submitted to the court that no such representation of the situation has been submitted to UPSC and that the organization has asked all the states to run the optimum number of public transport on the day.
- Next, the question regarding COVID-19 positive candidates and the measures of the organization against such a situation was posed. To this, the detailed guidelines of UPSC for IAS 2020 prelims and the measures taken were submitted and it was assured that such candidates are not going to be allowed.
- The organization also stated that delaying the IAS 2020 will consequently delay the exam of IAS 2021.
- Merging exams will not be possible but it was to be checked whether UPSC guidelines conform with MHA guidelines and if supplementary rules were necessary.
- The council for the petitioner claimed it is an unprecedented situation and that the petitioner was appearing for the last attempt.
- A plea for extra attempt was sought for candidates who are appearing for the last attempt this year but may not be able to go to the exam center because of the pandemic. Hence, an alternate way to give them a year extension without raising the age limit, in general, was asked.
- The Supreme Court also stated that pleas of making separate arrangements for COVID-19 positive candidates cannot be made as SOP requires such patience to be in isolation and quarantine.
- Lastly, the Supreme Court also stated that separate arrangements for candidates suffering from cough and cold must be made by UPSC and no more than 100 candidates should be allowed in a particular exam center to ensure conformity of the UPSC guidelines with that of MHA.
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*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.