UPSC Prelims 2020: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Monday informed the Supreme Court that it is impossible to defer the Civil Services Preliminary 2020 as all logistical arrangements have already been made. A 3-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar asked UPSC to put this stand in an affidavit along with the arrangements made. The matter will be heard on Wednesday.

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The top court was hearing a plea filed by some UPSC civil services aspirants seeking the postponement of the preliminary examination 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UPSC civil services examination 2020 is scheduled for October 4.

In the last hearing, the top court had asked advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, appearing for the petitioners, to serve a copy of the petition on the UPSC and Centre.

Around 6 lakh aspirants are expected to appear in the UPSC Prelims this year, which will be conducted at various centers across 72 cities in the country.

The exam was earlier scheduled for May 31 but had to be postponed due to Covid-19. On June 5, UPSC released the revised examination schedule, setting October 4 as the new date for holding the examination.

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The plea filed by 20 UPSC aspirants through Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava against conducting of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2020, on October 4, submitted that this seven hours long offline exam, which will be taken by approximately 6 lakh aspirants at test centres in 72 cities across the country, is likely to be a big source of further spread of COVID-19.  

The UPSC counsel objected to the plea, saying it would upset the schedule of the exams. 

After a brief hearing, the bench asked the UPSC counsel to bring on record the reasons for not postponing the exams. The bench will continue to hear the matter on Wednesday. 

Last week, the Supreme Court had issued notice to the Centre and UPSC on the plea filed by aspirants. The SC bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar, while seeking a response from the Centre and UPSC, had posted the matter for hearing till today.   

In the earlier hearing, the top court had said: “The plea contended that the exam, being a recruitment examination, is altogether different from an academic examination and thus in the event of its postponement, there would not be any question of delay or loss of any academic session.”

Mean-while, India on Monday recorded 82,170 fresh cases of the coronavirus disease (in the last 24 hours), which pushed the nationwide tally to above 60 lakh, according to a Union health ministry update on Monday morning.

The latest million cases came in just 11 days.

Out of the 60,74,703 cases, 9,62,640 are active cases while 50,16,521 patients have been cured or discharged from hospitals, the health ministry data showed.

At least 1,039 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours which pushed the death toll to 95,542.

Delhi, meanwhile, recorded 3,292 new cases of the disease which pushed the number of infections in the national capital to 2,71,114. More than 40 deaths due to Covid-19 were reported in Delhi for the second consecutive day on Sunday.

With this, the number of deaths in the national capital has gone up to 5,235.

The health ministry, meanwhile, said on Sunday that India recorded 10 lakh recoveries in the last 11 days

India’s total recoveries cross the landmark milestone of 50 lakh. The rise from 1 lakh in June ‘20 has been steep. The last 10 lakh recoveries were added in just 11 days,” the health ministry said on Twitter.

It added that recovered cases have outpaced active cases by over five times.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the cumulative total samples tested up to September 26 is 7,12,57,836. The number of samples tested on September 26 is 9,87,861.

India is the second-worst hit nation in terms of Covid-19 cases after the US, while it is in the third spot in terms of fatalities globally after the US and Brazil.

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