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Supreme Court refuses to defer civil services prelims

New Delhi, Aug 23 (PTI): The Supreme Court on Saturday refused to postpone the Civil Services preliminary examination scheduled for Sunday, saying the objections raised by students on comprehension part have been addressed and the exam cannot be stayed at the last hour when nine lakh students are ready to appear.

In a special hearing, a bench of justices J.S. Khehar and Arun Mishra assembled on a non-working day and dismissed the plea for a stay on the examination, renamed the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) since 2011.

The bench granted a patient hearing for around half-an-hour but did not agree with the contention of the petitioner that the examination procedure favours students of science background.

“You have pointed out only one point that is on comprehension and it has been removed. Defect has been remedied,” the bench said.

It was referring to Union Public Service Commission’s decision asking candidates not to answer questions in the English Comprehensive section of the preliminary exam following protest over its inclusion.

Advocate Ravindra S. Garia and Vishal Sinha, appearing for petitioner Angesh Kumar, submitted that the present pattern of examination is already skewed against the students from non-urban background and from Humanities and non Engineering/ Science/ Management streams.

”Your difficulty has been removed so you are in better position. Your grievance has been decided in your favour. Merit cannot be assessed in your way,” it said, adding that these are academic issues that should be left to the government and expert bodies to decide.

The bench, however, observed that the bright students opt for science and medicine stream and that may be reason why people from such stream do well in exams.

“Where do the most intelligent students go? The cream goes to science and medicine. So students from those stream score marks higher than the students from humanities background,” the bench said, adding, “No system is perfect”.

It also asked the petitioner why he approached the court so late.

“Everything is same. Syllabus is same. Why do you need more time? Nine lakh students are ready to appear in the exam. What to do if one is not ready. All students applied in May and they have prepared for the exam,” it said, adding, “We find no merit in this petition and the same is accordingly dismissed”.