New Delhi | Jagran Education Desk: Soon after the three farm laws were repealed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 19, many Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) aspirants came forward with their demand to increase the number of attempts for the civil service examination. Claiming that the pandemic affected their preparations, the UPSC aspirants have organized a protest in Delhi on Sunday (November 28) to make their demands heard. Earlier in October, several UPSC aspirants held a protest in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar raising similar demands.

Here's all you need to know about the matter.

Why are the aspirants protesting?

Every year, thousands of candidates sit for UPSC, one of the toughest exams in the country. Many give several attempts to clear the exam. However, the COVID-19 induced pandemic made the exams more difficult for many aspirants. Thus, candidates - especially those who have reached the upper age limit or exhausted all the attempts in 2020 - are demanding to raise the upper limit to give the exam. Several aspirants are raising their demand on social media using the #UPSCExtraAttempt. The UPSC aspirants also tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and the Ministry of Personnel and Training department (the ministry responsible for conducting the exams) to draw the government’s attention towards their demand.

Furthermore, due to COVID-19, many people lost their families and jobs or were themselves affected by the deadly virus. This may have impacted them emotionally or financially. Many doctors have also been preparing for the UPSC Civil Services exam. As they were front-line warriors during the pandemic, the stress of the work hampered their studies.

Many people on Twitter like Prof (Dr) Vijay Kumar and Manoj Kumar Jha put out a tweet in support of students who are demanding an extra attempt to appear for the prestigious civil service exams.

Why an extra attempt is needed?

The UPSC allowed for an 'opt-out' option when it announced the postponement of the exam amid the pandemic. Aspirants were allowed to withdraw their names if it would be impossible for them to appear in the exam. However, there was no option given to last-time examiners who had reached their age limit already for appearing for the civil services examination.

Supreme Court's take on the matter

In the case 'Vasireddy Govardhana Sai Prakash vs UPSC', a petitioner argued that some of the candidates may be giving their final attempt and may also be age-barred for the next examination. If they are unable to appear in the examination due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they would substantially lose.

Responding to this, SC had asked the additional solicitor general appearing for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and Department of Personnel and Training to consider the possibility of providing one more attempt to such candidates along with an extension in the age limit.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha