The Supreme Court will be hearing the pleas for the postponement of the UPSC Prelims 2020 today. The exam is scheduled on October 4, 2020 and twenty aspirants have filed a petition pleading the postponement by two to three months, considering the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected the curve of rising cases in India will be flattened by this time. Apart from the COVID-19 pandemic, several states experienced severe flooding which is another reason behind the plea.
On Monday, the Supreme Court had directed the Union Public Service Commission to submit a response regarding why the exam cannot be postponed in the light of the organization's objection against the postponement. The objection was primarily raised taking into account how this delay can disrupt the entire schedule for the subsequent stages of the exam. Also read- UPSC refused to postponed the IAS 2020 prelims
A bench consisting of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Krishna Murari, and B.R. Gavai asked UPSC to file an affidavit on Tuesday. The hearing will be continued on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The petition was filed by Vasireddy Govardhana Sai Prakash and others through the advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava sought the exam to be postponed by two-three months as the curve of rising Positive cases of the disease is at its peak in India at the moment. It also cited the incessant rain and flooding has been disrupting daily life in many parts of the country, making it difficult for a number of candidates to appear for the exam at all, if it is conducted in its present schedule. The plea also contended that since it is a recruitment exam, unlike an academic exam, its rescheduling will not lead to loss like delay in the academic year.
This year, approximately 6 lakhs candidates are going to appear for the exam from 72 exam centers across the country. The exam is conducted offline for 7 hours. On the other hand, there are more than 80000 cases of COVID-19 positive, daily in India. Thus, the risk factor is significantly high. The plea also argued that the worst to be affected is the middle and lower-middle-class aspirants who will be forced to avail transportation, accommodation etc. with questionable safety and hygiene. It also stated that the decision of UPSC to conduct the exam in this situation also violates the rights of the candidates under Article 19 (1)(g) of the Constitution.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.