The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has told the Supreme Court that it is impossible to postpone the Civil Services Preliminary 2020 examination as all logistical arrangements have been made.
UPSC has opposed a plea filed by several civil servant aspirants seeking postponement of the prelims exam by two-three months amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a hearing conducted through video conferencing, a bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari asked the UPSC to file an affidavit by Tuesday. The matter will be heard by a three-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar on Wednesday.
"You file your affidavit tomorrow. Whatever logistical arrangements are there you put them in a short affidavit," the bench ordered.
The SC bench asked the UPSC to serve the copy of its affidavit to lawyer Alakh Alok Shrivastava, the counsel for the petitioner Vasireddy Govardhana Sai Prakash and 19 other aspirants who have filed the petition for the postponement of the examination.
Currently, Civil Services Preliminary 2020 is scheduled for October 4.
As per the plea filed by UPSC aspirants, the Civil Services Exam is altogether different from an academic examination and in the event of its postponement, there would not be any question of delay or loss of any academic session.
The plea added that despite an alarming spurt in COVID-19 pandemic, UPSC did not increase the number of examination centres, resulting into a situation where many candidates from rural areas will be forced to travel for around 300-400 kilometres.
Around six lakh UPSC aspirants are expected to appear in the seven-hour offline examination. The UPSC prelims 2020 is supposed to be conducted across 72 cities.
The exam was earlier scheduled for May 31 but had to be postponed due to coronavirus outbreak. On June 5, UPSC released the revised examination schedule, setting October 4 as the new date for holding the examination.