The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a plea regarding the postponement of the UPSC civil services preliminary examination 2020. The plea filed by UPSC aspirants seeks a postponement of the prelims by two-three months due to the increasing cases of coronavirus in the country. The matter will be heard by a three-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar.
Currently, the examination is scheduled for October 4. The examinees have told the Supreme Court that holding the exams could pose a health risk to the aspirants who hail from all over the country. Around 6 lakh UPSC aspirants are expected to appear in the 7-hour offline examination. The UPSC prelims 2020 would be conducted across 72 cities.
"Conducting the aforesaid examination across India at such perilous time, is nothing else but putting lives of lakhs of young students (including Petitioners herein) at utmost risk and danger of disease and death. Also, the natural calamities like flood, incessant rain, landslides etc. are likely to directly affect the life and health of the Petitioners and many similarly situated students. Hence, the impugned Revised Calendar is utterly arbitrary, unreasonable, whimsical and patently violative of the "Right to Health" and "Right to Life" of the Petitioners herein and lakhs of similarly situated students, under Article 21," the petition stated.
A fresh application has also been filed on behalf of an Assistant Commandant of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) who is scheduled to appear for the examination. The applicant has also sought postponement of the UPSC preliminary exams. The application cited discrimination among candidates from majorly affected states.
The apex court had asked advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, who is appearing for the petitioners, to serve a copy of the petition to the UPSC and the Centre.
The preliminary exams were initially scheduled for May 31 but were postponed due to the pandemic. UPSC released a revised examination schedule on June 5 setting October 4 as the new date.