New Delhi: The Narendra Modi-led Centre on Friday informed the Supreme Court that no extra attempt for UPSC will be given to aspirants who had their last attempt in October and could not appear due to COVID-19. The court has asked Centre to file an affidavit about the stand taken by it and posted the matter for hearing on Monday, Jan 25. Also Read - There Should be Some Screening: Supreme Court Seeks OTT Regulations From Centre

Notably, the court was hearing a plea filed by a bunch of UPSC aspirants, seeking an extra attempt in the civil services examination for the year 2021, as a one time measure owing to the coronavirus pandemic. The exam was conducted on October 4, after the top court declined to postpone the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination. Also Read - Dissent Cannot be Termed Seditious, Says Supreme Court; Junks Plea Against Farooq Abdullah

A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar had asked the Centre to explore the possibility of granting an extra chance to appear for aspirants availing of their last chance as they might not be able to sit in the competitive exam due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it should be done without extending the age limit. Also Read - Is it Safe for 14-year-old to Terminate 26-week Pregnancy? SC asks Haryana Hospital

The bench suggested that a formal decision on the last attempt issue should be taken expeditiously.

In 2020, a number of aspirants opted out of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) preliminary examination for selection to Indian Administrative and Allied Services across the country. The majority of the students, who had dropped out of the examination, cited the coronavirus pandemic as the main reason for the high number of absentees.