UPSC to reimburse to-and-fro airfares of candidates appearing for interview
New Delhi: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has decided to reimburse to-and-fro airfares of civil services aspirants appearing for the personality test in Delhi as train services are "not fully functional" due to COVID-19 curbs, according to an official statement issued on Monday.
The Commission will also help the candidates with their lodging and transport requirements, it said.
"As train services are not fully functional, the Commission, as a one-time measure, has decided to reimburse the lowest 'to and fro airfare' to the candidates coming for the PTs (personality tests). State Governments have been requested to allow the candidates holding e-summon letters for PTs to move in/out of the restricted zones for the purpose of attending the same," the statement issued by the UPSC said.
The UPSC was in the midst of conducting the personality tests/interviews for 2,304 candidates for the civil services examination, 2019 (CSE-2019) when the government decided to impose a lockdown in late March to contain the spread of COVID-19, it said.
The Commission then decided to defer the interview of the remaining 623 candidates, the UPSC said.
"With gradual lifting of the lockdown, the Commission has decided to hold the PTs for the remaining candidates from 20th to 30th of July, 2020 and all the candidates have been suitably informed in advance, it said.
On reaching the Commission, all candidates will be provided a 'sealed kit' consisting of a face mask, face shield, a bottle of sanitiser and hand gloves, it said.
The civil services examination is conducted by the UPSC annually in three stages -- preliminary, main and personality test or interview -- to select candidates for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS ), among others.
In order to address the safety and health concerns of the candidates, expert advisers and staff of the Commission, suitable arrangements have been put in place, the UPSC said.
"Since the Interview Boards generally comprise senior advisers, the Commission has taken all precautionary and safety measures for contact-less PTs in order to shield the interviewers and the interviewees appropriately, it said.
The Commission's staff involved in conduct of the PTs will also be equipped with suitable protective gear, the statement said.
Arrangements have been made for regular sanitisation of all the rooms, halls, furniture and equipment, it said.
"Seating arrangement for the candidates at all venues will ensure safe physical distancing. Protocol/guidelines to be followed by the candidates for appearing in the interview have been communicated to them, the UPSC said.