The Supreme Court has dismissed a plea seeking an extra chance for the UPSC civil service exam on Wednesday, 24 February 2021. Candidates who have exhausted their last attempt in October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic had asked for a second chance. Moreover, they had filed a plea in the Supreme Court for the same.
A bench headed by Justices A M Khanwilkar announced that the plea filed by a civil service aspirant for the extra opportunity, citing difficulties faced in preparations during the pandemic, has been declined. On 30 September 2021, the Supreme Court refused to postpone the UPSC civil services preliminary exam despite the COVID-19 pandemic and floods in several parts of the country.
As per the latest criteria, a candidate from the general category is allowed to appear for the exam six times till the age of 32; the OBC can appear nine times till 35 years. The SC/ST candidates have unlimited attempts till they turn 37.
The centre was initially not willing to give the extra opportunity to the candidates. However, it later agreed to do so at the suggestion of the bench. It told the apex court on 5 February 2021 that they could be given an extra chance as a one-time relaxation for those civil service aspirants who had appeared on their last attempt at the 2020 exam and were not age-barred. But the bench has dismissed the petition of Rachna and others today. The centre also told the Supreme Court that it had given relaxations for candidates in 1979, 1992, and 2015 due to changes in examination patterns.