New Delhi: The Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2021 will be conducted as per schedule from Friday, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) said on Wednesday.
Keeping in view the restrictions being imposed by governments to curb the spread of COVID-19, the commission has urged the states to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the candidates and examination functionaries in their movement, especially those who are coming from the containment and micro-containment zones.
If necessary, the e-admit cards of the candidates and the identity cards of the examination functionaries are to be used as movement passes, the UPSC said.
"After carefully reviewing the situation prevailing due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has decided to conduct the Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2021 as per schedule i.e. on 7th, 8th, 9th, 15th and 16th January, 2022," it said in a statement.
The civil services examination is conducted annually in three stages -- preliminary, main and interview -- to select the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, among others.
The states have further been requested to make public transport operational to the optimum level, at least a day before the exam starts till it concludes -- from January 6 to January 9 and from January 14 to January 16 -- in order to ensure a smooth movement of the candidates and examination functionaries, the statement said.
All the competent district authorities and the venue supervisors have been provided with the guidelines of the commission for the conduct of the exam in these times of pandemic, it added.
The guidelines are mainly related to the personal hygiene of the candidates and examination functionaries, maintenance of social distancing and wearing of masks by them all the time and the provision of hand sanitiser at convenient places in the venues.
The guidelines also ask the examination functionaries and candidates to carry their own sanitiser in transparent bottles.
The guidelines include sanitisation of each venue on a regular basis and two surplus examination rooms for accommodating the candidates who would be coughing, sneezing, complaining of breathlessness, feeling feverish so that they can write the examination under appropriate safety protocols, the statement said.