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UPSC aspirants call for merger of 2020 and 2021 exam, cite Covid disruption 

An online petition with 9,000 signatures says it will be unfair to go ahead with civil services exam on its 4 October date as it may cost some aspirants their last shot.

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New Delhi: Thousands of aspirants are pushing an online petition that raises concerns over going ahead with the annual Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam on its scheduled 4 October date. They have cited the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic to suggest that this year’s exam be merged with the 2021 exercise. 

The posts on offer this year, they said, should accordingly be added to the ones notified for the 2021 exam.

If a postponement of the exam is not possible, the petitioners added, a compensatory attempt should be offered to aspirants who are left with just one shot to clear the exams. Started via, an online petitions portal, the demand had received 9,000 signatures by Saturday.

“We suggest to preferably merge the UPSC 2020 cycle along with 2021 cycle with the proportional increased posts and providing a compensatory attempt to those, whose last attempt ends by 2020,” the petition states. “Meanwhile, as estimated by various research agencies, the extremity of pandemic gets subsided and the vaccine is available for mass consumption.”

The preliminary examination — which is the first stage of the three-stage Civil Service Examination (CSE) — was initially scheduled for 31 May. However, due to the spread of the pandemic, the UPSC postponed it to 4 October. 

But the aspirants have pointed to the continued rise in Covid-19 cases to argue that it would be “unjust” to go ahead with the October date. 

As of Saturday, India had over 6.6 lakh active Covid-19 cases, with over 18 lakh recoveries and 49,036 deaths.

“The number of cases of Covid-19 is not plateauing. Even the vaccine is not available as of date. In these times of uncertainty where the pandemic is inching towards three million and started spreading beyond cities, we feel unsafe to take up any assignment that requires movement beyond our native place,” the petition adds. 

“Unlike other entrance examinations, the UPSC exam process is a three-stage performance capture structure. After giving prelims, the candidate has to get ready for Mains within 90 days,” the petition states.

“Suppose if a candidate gets affected by Corona virus due to his prelims journey, he loses a fortnight of preparation time and it affects his chances of clearing Mains exam. On the top of this, he also loses the count of one attempt. This is sheer inequity.” 

Asked if there was a chance that the exam could be postponed again, a UPSC official told ThePrint that they are monitoring the situation on a daily basis, and a “call will be taken closer to the date”. 

Also Read: 50% IAS, IFS recruits are children of govt servants. But this is a story of their merit

‘Extremely unfair’ 

Speaking to ThePrint, several civil services aspirants said they were grateful to the government for postponing the exam once, but sought another deferment in the interest of their health as well as to curtail the spread of the virus. 

“Over 6 lakh people take the exam every year… For people to travel in such large numbers across exam centres and venues along with their parents, prepare for the exam in such anxiety, and risk infection is extremely unfair,” said an aspirant who did not wish to be named. 

“Across the world, governments, universities are coming up with innovative ways to ensure that examinations can be conducted without imperiling the health of the youth… Our government should also take a liberal view in the matter,” the aspirant added. 

Also Read: Language test for UPSC — less than 5% IAS, IFS officers take civil services exam in Hindi


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  1. That was right. I’m a UPSC aspirant from Dhyeya IAS institute and I couldn’t have taken the risk. Now just waiting for June 27, 2021. Hope everything goes well.

  2. Not need to postpone this exam if it’s possible then you can Marge 2020 and 2021.When it’s not possible then please postpone it. Please take action earlier

  3. मै संघ लोक सेवा आयोग से मांग करूगा कि जिनाका लास्ट समय है उन्को एक बार मौका दिया जाये.और डेट आगे बढ़ा दिया जये. अगर कोरान का मामला ठोड़ी हो जाये तो novmbar या दिसम्बर मे प्री का पेपर ले लिया जाये.

  4. I wish UPSC further extend the pre exam taking into consideration the problems candidates from remote areas have to face. Many of us do not have exam center in our hometown and have to travel very far to the state capital paying extra taxi fare and no where to stay on 3rd October night as colony people don’t entertain outsiders because of fear of corona and less chance for hotel to stay .. After working for whole year its totally unfair for weaker section those who don’t have vehicle or house to stay in the exam centre city of their where to stay even one night to finally appear exam the next day that is 4rd October..

  5. Yes this year upsc must be postpone the exam as covid is still spreading and there is no access to Internet newspaper and other things because of lockdown, flood and most important mental conditions of aspirants right now is not good. Coz of pandemic so plz merge 2020 and 2021 exam.

  6. So plz request to all directly mail to DOPT,UPSC as well as Home ministry regarding merging of this year exam with next year 2021 with both the years recruiting posts linking to the reasons r, Poor rural aspirants across the country don’t hv money to buy expensive online courses during this corona havoc as rural economy has completely been staggered, Corona peak yet to arrive by mid September,so infection fear as UPSC is a three tier exam,no proper study materials r sufficient available in all spheres of the country,like this…Plz write every body to the concerned departments as soon as possible…

  7. Yes… We want this year prelims should be merged with 2021…even proper travelling facilities are not there and if it is then that much fear and anxiety is there to travel in them…. How much precautions we will take then also even during exam going time mind will be in pressure whether infection will happen because of this or that thing……..even big big politicians and Bollywood personalities are getting despite having that much safety and precautions…. Then what about us common peoples…….plzzz zzzz merge it with 2021

  8. It would be better if the CSE prelims gers cancelled on 4th Oct too because there is no vaccine and no any other way to appear for the exam on this day amid corona virus…government please help and support aspirants like us to give us another date that will work fairly in every way…. maybe Jan or feb or the merger ofcourse

  9. Am not against conducting exam in this time. But my request is that govt should give a chance to those appearing for last time to withdraw their application and give us a compensatory attempt next year.


  10. Ya I really appreciate with you all aspirants UPSC should merge this exam or give a compesnsatry extra chance to those who have last chance this year

  11. Everyday we are reading how the pandemic has affected different groups emphasizing additional pressure on women with all the additional responsibilities of taking care of people at home. Are women not supposed to study and give exam. We are so badly burdened with chores of men staying at home and working from home while we are busy taking care of household needs and in between if we have a dream we are supposed to be finding out time and giving the exam still with SOPs. This is not fair for us women as well. We are affected too and considering this, this years exam must come with a proper resolution to be fair to all

  12. Yes,as a UPSC civil service aspirant,this ll be the best plan & this year exam should be merged with next year exam as no proper study materials r being available in all spheres of the country & even there is severe health risk due to corona pandemic.

  13. When tenth standard students has written the exams across country why the aspirants who thought of ruling the country is worried.

    If the people are not ready to fight in this challenging times how can we consider them as the administrator.

    Further thoughts should not be read in books for exam but should be applied practically life

    • First u should know …they r all most daring persons ,so then only they choose upsc (appreciate them ) . They aren’t afraid of Virus n their heath .They only concerned about their ATTEMPT which is truly unjustified by Constitution.Most of them are giving their lives for the preparation .Some of them are placing their lives at the edge of the sword.
      # That’s the main issue …don’t be compared with 10 th standard…
      # Take care of your health!

    • Because in our state for the jee, neet aspirants there are 7 examination cities. But for upsc we have to go to the state capital of our state. So many candidates will travel to one place. The population density of our state capital is much more than other cities. That is a hotspot area also.

  14. Those r planning to conduct this year UPSC civil service exam must know that how this corona pandemic has ruined the financial situations of people across the country particularly rural economy, secondly,no proper study materials r being available in all spheres of the country these days so that there is a big disruption in preparation with those r running with last attempts & age ,along with they should know how this disease is infesting severely & many states hv been failed to prevent contamination,so plz merge this year exam with 2021 exam with equally two years of recruitment posts.

    • Well you are giving right point but as we all know govt will not going to take action on our favor as you see neet jee will conduct on their fixed date so this is upsc there is no any further chances this exam can be postpone If that were the case, the NDA exam would have been postponed…so be ready guys on 4th Oct ..

  15. Ya this is the better option to merging the upsc 2020-21 or if upsc dont want to merge the exam than even shift the exam up to january up to condition are not in our control infact government start the most of things in unlock condition but peoples are more scary from this virus market are not opening properly and transport facilities are also not good then how we can manage to go to the centres abd there is only 70centres all over india ,suppose if we manage to go to centres than we have to reach one day before than hotels are closed then where we will stay So @the print need your support to merge the exam of 2020-21

  16. File PIL in Supreme Court for Postponement of UPSC CSE to be held on 4th October as COVID19Pandemic has not subsided. There will still be Containment zones in India around 4th October and it’s highly difficult for any UPSC CSE Candidate to come out of any Containment Zone. Plus at no fault of candidate he/she gets affected with COVID19 (as India has reached stage of rampant Community Transmission of COVID19) and that affected candidate gets institutional quarantine around on or just before 4th October,how will that affected candidate appear for UPSC CSE on 4thOctober?? Won’t it be unfair? Also subject to availability of all means of public transport (including rickshaws,buses,metros,local trains and passenger trains) decision to postpone UPSC CSE Prelims upto January will be most logical thing to do… Health Secretary LuvAggarwal who used to brief nation daily on COVID19situation has turned CoronaPositive despite being taking all precautions to avoid getting Corona,how can you expect common aspirants will not be at risk of getting affected with COVID19 by travelling to and fro from their hometowns to exam centres which anywhere requires 72hours for total traveling journey? Also many other high profile persons with greater amount of safety privileges than common citizens like former President of India,Chief justices of HighCourt, Chief Ministers,Cabinet ministers,MemberofLegislativeAssemblies-MLAs and MemberofParliaments-MPS,Bollywood Celebrities, Cricketers and sportpersons, Chiefs of Principal Religious Institutions,Mayors,Corporators,Zilla Parishad Presidents and Members,Sarpanches and GramPanchyatMembers,also many police personnels, doctors are getting affected with COVID19 how can common UPSC CSE candidates spread across all over India will not be affected with COVID19? Will the secondary infrastructure (hotels,dharmashala, vehicles,etc.) will be that much protected from COVID19?Also will that secondary infrastructure will be uniformly available for every UPSC CSE Candidate across all over India(as 90%of that secondary infrastructure is involved in combating COVID19Pandemic-many schools,colleges,hotels,motels, dharmashalas have turned into institutional quarantine centres,vehicles are on special duty for services in COVID19)? Also lives of millions of other persons will be in great danger if unfortunately every UPSC CSE Candidate(UPSC should start assuming worst case scenario) turns CoronaPositive during his travel and appearance for exam. UPSC as one of the watchdogs of Indian Democracy needs to be fair and rational body by embodying principles of equality,equity,safety,morality and ethics. Every life matters in pandemic time as life lost will never be reversed. Let’s hope that UPSC doesn’t make UPSC CSE exam as living CORONA EXPLOSIVE BOMB waiting to be exploded on or after 4th October,2020. Kindly postpone UPSC CSE Prelims to date untill situation of COVID19Pandemic completely normalises across all over India. For the future nation builders you want to choose through UPSC CSE UPSC should categorically display it’s task of nation building in time of Global Pandemic by postponing UPSC CSE to be held on 4th October,2020,it will serve as lesson to future nation builders.

  17. Many Doctors who wore PPE .. They got infected and to our surprise many have lost their lives also. Do u think they dint follow the so called SOPs well?Doctors who use private vehicles to their hospitals..with all hygienic safeguards..if they can be infected..then what about Students with one mask and hand sanitizer travelling nearly 500 km to exam centre in public transport? Should we believe they won’t get infected by STRICT SOPs?

  18. Ya true.. I am also upsc aspirant and feel the same as it is risky for us and for our family too. if one get infected then whole family may get infection.

  19. @ThePrint, please ask the UPSC to let us know at least 4 weeks before the exam, whether the exam’s going to be onducted on 4th ,or not!
    Otherwise it’ll really be excruciating for us to cope up with another postponement, as it’s extremely strenuous to converge our studies to that one day, & then things go to sheer nothingness!
    Please, early notice UPSC!

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