Even as Delhi started witnessing weekend lockdowns due to the spike of Covid cases, UPSC students had no option but to appear for their Mains exam
On 7 January, amidst the third wave of the Covid pandemic and weekend lockdowns, thousands of students around the nation and Delhi attempted their first UPSC mains exam.
Many aspirants from New Delhi are braving their lives to crack one of the world’s toughest competitive examinations.
Several candidates pleaded with the Delhi High Court seeking postponement of the exam but on 6 January, Delhi High Court dismissed their plea at the same time and on the other hand Commission in a statement 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″.
Patriot talked with aspirants to know how they are coping with the situation and the effect the pandemic has had on their preparation. Akash Goswami, one of the aspirants and educators at Unacademy said “On January 8, I attempted the second mains exam of General Studies-II and third mains exam of General Studies-III. It was raining and the weekend lockdown was ordered by the Delhi government. Amid this, I went to appear for the examination but, accidentally forgot my admit card and when I reached the centre, there was no cyber cafe open. However, the team at the centre helped with a duplicate admit card, but when I entered the examination room I saw that half of the students there were coughing.”
Another aspirant said, “It is a tough situation, I am focusing on my goal and I am not reading negative news. I am not even talking to my friends, just to keep my self-motivated in this testing time”.
Nirmala Nandan Tiwari, who is appearing for Mains came to Delhi from Bhopal said “I am facing a lot of problems, my examination centre is UPSC and I live in Uttam Nagar. So, in order to reach the examination centre on time I had to start at 6 in the morning. Because of the restrictions on movement, the metro was also running late and then, there was nowhere for us to eat as all the restaurants and eateries were shut due to the lockdown.”
When asked about the Covid situation in the examination centre he said, “The Centre was following all Covid related measures, but many students were coughing. The invigilator said we should take care of our health amid exam period and the pandemic”.
Talking about the difficulty he faced during his preparations he said, “We aspirants are not alone in facing problems: police, mediapersons and health workers and common men all are fighting this disease and this time we all should stand together with each other so that we can win over this contagious virus”.
(Cover: Candidates leave the examination center after appearing for the UPSC Exam at UPSC office Shahjahan Road on January 7,2022 in New Delhi PHOTO: Getty Images)