After a series of discussions and court hearings, the Center has now agreed to allow one extra attempt specifically limited to UPSC CSE 2021 provided they are not otherwise age-barred from appearing in the 2021 exam. The government told the Supreme Court that such candidates who appeared for the Civil Service 2020 exam as their last permissible attempt will be allowed one more extra-attempt specifically limited to Civil Service 2021 provide they are not otherwise age-barred from appearing in UPSC Civil Service 2021.
Relaxation Only for UPSC CSE 2021
The affidavit filed by the Central government said “Relaxation, only to the extent of providing one extra attempt for Civil Service Examination (CSE), specifically limited to CSE-2021, may be granted to only those candidates who appeared for CSE-2020 as their last permissible attempt and are otherwise not age-barred from appearing in CSE-2021."
No Relaxation for Candidates Age-Barred for CSE 2021
No relaxation shall be granted for CSE-2021 to those candidates who have not exhausted their permissible number of attempts or to those candidates who are otherwise age-barred from appearing in CSE-2021 as per the prescribed age limits of different categories, the affidavit made it clear.
Currently, 6 attempts are allowed for general category candidates with an upper age limit of 32 years. OBC candidates have nine attempts till 35 years of age while SC/ST candidates till 37 years of age.
The petitioners in the present case (Rachna v. Union of India) approached the Supreme Court contending that they failed to appear for the UPSC CSE Prelims 2020 due to the disruptions caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and thus, sought an extra attempt for the UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2021.