The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to postpone UPSC prelims exams scheduled on October 4, 2020. The petition filed by some civil service aspirants sought deferment of UPSC prelims exams scheduled on October 4, 2020 in view of Covid-19 pandemic. After hearing both sides, the top court maintained that UPSC should go ahead to conduct the examination in lieu with MHA guidelines.

When asked if this year’s exam can be merged with next year, the court responded that it would not be possible as it agrees with UPSC that postponing the exams further would have a cascading effect on other exams. However, the court denied to permit separate rooms for Covid-19 positive patients as the protocol prescribes isolation and quarantine. To which, UPSC informed the court that candidates showing symptoms of cough and cold would be seated in separate rooms.

In case of Covid-19 positive candidates, the court urged UPSC to allow candidates who are giving their last attempt and face age bar disqualification to give their exams next year. UPSC also urged authorities to allow candidates to travel to their examination center based on their admit card.

In its affidavit filed earlier in the day, UPSC pointed out it had already spent about Rs 50 crore to facilitate the logistic preparation of the examination and any further delay would cause huge economic loss to public exchequer.

Citing the importance of UPSC prelims for filling vacant posts in government services, the commission pointed out the postponing the exams further would disrupt the entire exam schedule as several other recruitment tests including UPSC Mains and interviews are yet to be conducted this year. The commission argued further that if the October 4 date is shifted, even the next round of preliminary exams scheduled in June 2021 would suffer.