February 24, 2021, 11:34 AM: On Wednesday, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition for an extra attempt for all the candidates whose last attempt was October 2020. The Judgement was given by a panel of three judges- Justice AM Khanwilkar, Indu Malhotra, and Ajay Rastogi.
The petition was filed in the light of the COVID situation by few candidates who claimed that they failed to appear in the IAS (UPSC CSE) Prelims 2020 because of the lockdown and pandemic situation that was prevalent. Hence, they sought an extra attempt in lieu of their missed year. Also read- IAS Prelims 2021 exam dates remain the same
As per the note from the Central Government, in favor of providing this extra attempt, candidates who appeared in the exam on their last age-permissible year in 2020 can get an extra attempt only if they appear in CSE-2021. It will be a one-time relaxation and will not be treated as a precedent. The note further mentioned that no relaxation will be given to candidates whose age permissible attempts are not exhausted by CSE 2021 or to candidates who are age-barred from appearing in the exam as per the prescribed age limit of all the other categories. Also read- Check IAS Mains GS-IV exam analysis here
Presently there are 6 attempt limitations within 32 years for IAS UPSC for the general category and 9 attempt limit within 35 years for the reserved category. The senior advocates Shyam Divan, CU Singh and PS Narasimha, who appeared for the petitioners submitted the plea that not allowing an extra attempt will be unreasonable citing the sudden impact that COVID had on all. They cited exceptions made in 2011 and 2015, in support of their case. Anushree Kapadia had filed the petition on behalf of the aggrieved students. Also read- IAS preparation tips for Polity and Governance
However, this was opposed by ASG SV Raju who pointed out that the hardship was uniformly faced by all candidates appearing for IAS in 2020 and succumbing to this demand will lead to an “endless cycle”. The eventual result was the petition finally getting rejected by the Supreme Court.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.