The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has informed the Supreme Court that there is no provision to conduct a re-examination, if a candidate fails to take the test on the scheduled date for any reasons.
In an affidavit, filed in the top court, the UPSC said it usually holds 13 examinations, apart from several recruitment tests, during a year and there is no provision for holding a re-examination in case a candidate fails to appear in the examination, for any reason including any ailment or accident incapacitating him or her.
It said it conducts the civil services examination strictly in accordance with the rules of examination framed annually by the government. It clarified that any decision regarding age relaxation and compensatory/extra attempt is a policy matter falling under the domain of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
On Monday, the top court was informed that the call regarding extra attempts to appear in the UPSC examination will have to be taken by the DoPT.
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The commission's response came on a plea by three aspirants who had cleared the UPSC-2021 prelims exam but could not appear in all papers of the main exam after testing positive for Covid-19, and moved the top court seeking an extra attempt to take the exams.
The UPSC emphasised that in the past, it has not held any re-examination under similar circumstances.
It said a cycle has evolved, which includes recruitment, training and final appointment and upsetting it can likely have cascading effects in future as well.
The commission said the matter of compensatory/extra attempt had been decided by the top court, against the backdrop of hardships faced by the aspirants due to the pandemic, but the same was not granted.
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It said the DoPT is also a stakeholder in the process of conduct of civil services exam and its stand should also be considered in the matter. The top court has scheduled the matter for further hearing on March 25.
Two out of the three petitioners had to leave the main exam, held from January 7 to 16, in between after appearing in some initial papers. The third aspirant could not appear in any of the papers due to Covid.