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Haryana

UPSC may reimburse airfare to aspirants

July 11, 2020 06:47 AM

COURTESY HT JULY 11

UPSC may reimburse airfare to aspirants
Deeksha Bhardwaj

letters@hindustantimes.com

New Delhi : Around 700 candidates, who have cleared their preliminary and main civil services examinations, are likely to get airfare reimbursements for their travel to Delhi for interviews and medical examinations to complete the annual selection process, officials familiar with the matter said. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which conducts the examinations, usually reimburses railway fares to shortlisted candidates. It is in consultations with the department of personnel and training (DoPT) for refunding airfares given the Covid-19 pandemic and a shortage of trains.

Shortlisted candidates travel to Delhi for their interviews and medical examinations before the selection process is concluded. The preliminary and main examinations were held in June and September last year. Some interviews were conducted in Delhi in March when the nationwide lockdown was imposed. In some cases, interviews have been held while medical examinations are pending. “We are still discussing the modalities...,” a DoPT official said on condition of anonymity. The official added they were considering hospitals that can conduct medical examinations for the candidates whose interviews have been done. “The idea is to reduce the risk of transmission, especially in case of aspirants, who have appeared for their interviews... [they should not have] to travel to Delhi again just for their medical examinations.”

The DoPT has in consultation with UPSC shortlisted six hospitals in Delhi for the medical examinations scheduled from July 21 to August 4. The DoPT official said around 50-60 candidates daily would undergo medical examinations. The interviews are scheduled from July 20 to 30, according to UPSC.

“Ten days have been slotted for the interviews... around 700 candidates will be appearing for them,” a UPSC official said.

Meenakshi Das, 26, who is among those who have cleared their mains, said coming to Delhi from Hyderabad will amount to risking contracting Covid-19. She added many like her will prefer to undergo medical examinations in their states.

Former Indian Administrative Services officer BS Baswan called the idea of airfare reimbursements a creditable one. “This is an understandable decision. Although UPSC releases the reimbursement funds, the budget allocation is done by the DoPT.” Baswan said DoPT can allocate funds under the All India Services Residuary Matters Rules, 1960. “Exceptions can be made in case of an emergency,” Baswan said

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