Written by: Smita Pandey (Intern)
Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)
In light of the present Covid-19 epidemic scenario across the country, the Supreme Court heard a petition seeking dismissal of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Engineering Services Exam 2021 on July 1, 2021.
The plea was heard and denied at the end, under the bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and V. Ramasubramanian. The Court stated that it was not its responsibility to determine when the exam would be held. It even went so far as to say that it was the responsibility of the authorities to evaluate all factors, not the Court’s.
“There is no fundamental right to demand that an exam be performed on a specific date,” Justice Banerjee said, adding that the case could not be pursued further.
Upon submission before the Hon’ble Court, Advocate Vikram Hegde appeared on behalf of the petitioner and gave three reasons behind the postponement of the exam:
● Several states are currently under lockdown, and the Covid-19 limitations have not yet been released, making it difficult for candidates from far-flung places to get to the test centre.
● In the current Covid-19 situation around the country, female candidates will also experience difficulties travelling and arranging hotels or rooms for their stay before the exams.
● Candidates may find it unsafe to appear for the exams in the physical mode in the current situation due to the on-going covid crisis.
To this, the court replied that it would be the responsibility of the authorities to take this into account. As a result, the petition was denied by the Supreme Court.
It was reported that in 15 centers across the country, around 2 to 3 lakh aspirants are likely to take the UPSC Engineering Services Exam 2021. UPSC’s civil service examinations and recruiting tests have already been postponed. Students have argued that if all of the Commission’s tests have been postponed, why not the UPSC Engineering Services Exam 2021?
Now talking about the Union Public Service Commission, it did postpone the UPSC EPFO, 2021, exam due to an increase in the overall number of COVID-19 cases across the country. The UPSC EPFO 2021 test was supposed to take place on May 9, 2021, but ultimately it was postponed till further notice. The commission considered rapidly changing conditions, health-related lockdown limits such as societal distancing requirements, and the pandemic’s worsening position. But the UPSC didn’t postpone the UPSC ESE 2021, which is scheduled to happen on 18 July 2021.
Earlier in 2020, a similar appeal regarding the postponement of UPSC civil services exams was presented before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Also, the Supreme Court dismissed the plea regarding the postponement of the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam, which was scheduled for October 4, on September 30, 2020.
SC stated that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were followed in a number of recent public tests and denied any exceptional requests.
It concurred with the UPSC that any additional delays in the exam’s conduct would have a “cascading effect” on future ones. The apex court also mentioned, “every year, there are some issues.” This is not a case of students showing up; these people are supposed to be public employees, and they should act accordingly. Get out of your shell and out of your comfort zone.