NEW DELHI: The date for this year's civil services preliminary examination is likely to be decided on June 5, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has said.
The test, which was scheduled to be held on May 31, has been deferred due to the novel coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The commission held a special meeting on Wednesday to review the situation after the third phase of the nationwide restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Taking notice of the extension of several restrictions, the commission decided that it will not be possible to resume examinations and interviews, for the present," a statement issued by the UPSC said.
The commission, however, took note of the progressive relaxations being announced by the central government and various states, and has decided to review the situation once more after the fourth phase of the lockdown, it said.
The Centre had imposed the nationwide lockdown on March 25 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and it is currently in its fourth phase, which is till May 31.
"With a view to giving some clarity to candidates of various examinations and interviews, which have been deferred over the last two months, the commission will issue a revised schedule of examinations in its next meeting to be held on June 5, 2020," the statement said.
Details of the new calendar of examinations, including the civil services preliminary exam, will be published on the UPSC website after the commission's meeting on June 5.
The civil services examination is held annually in three stages prelims, main and interview -- by the UPSC to select officers for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.
Lakhs of aspirants take the examination every year to be part of the coveted civil services.
As many as 796 vacancies were announced by the commission to be filled through the civil services examination 2020.
A decision regarding deferring of the preliminary examination was taken on May 4 during a meeting of the UPSC to review the situation after the second-phase of the nationwide lockdown was announced.
"Taking notice of the extension of restrictions, the commission decided that it will not be possible to resume examinations and interview in the present, it had said in a communique.
The civil services (preliminary) examination 2020 scheduled to be held on May 31, therefore, stands deferred, the communique had said.
"Since this examination also serves as the screening test for the Indian Forest Service Examination, the schedule for the Indian Forest Service Examination is also deferred," it had said.
As and when dates are decided for the deferred tests and examinations, it will be ensured that candidates are given a notice of at least 30 days, the UPSC had said.
The commission has already deferred personality test for remaining candidates for the civil services examination, 2019; notification for the Indian Economic Service/Indian Statistical Service examination, 2020; notification for the Combined Medical Services Examination, 2020; notification for the Central Armed Police Forces Examination, 2020 and the NDA & Naval Academy Examination, 2020, it said.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)