The Centre has relaxed the age norms for candidates of all categories appearing in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examinations following Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's intervention.
Hundreds of UPSC aspirants had been camping in front of his residence at 12 Tughlaq Lane here since January 30.
As per existing rules, a candidate is permitted a maximum of four attempts. The maximum age limit for such candidates is 30 years. There is no restriction on number of attempts by candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (Sts). As many as seven attempts are permissible to an aspirant belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBCs), according to a notification issued for Civil Services Examinations, 2013.
"The Central government has approved two additional attempts to all categories of candidates with effect from Civil Services Examination 2014, with consequential age relaxation of maximum age for all categories of candidates, if required," said a notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
This means a candidate in the general category will now get six attempts while OBC candidates will get nine attempts. There is no restriction on attempts by SC/ST candidates.
Also, the upper age limit will go up from 30 to 32 in the general category and 35 for the OBC category and children of disabled defence personnel, which is already available to SC/ST candidates as also J&K
residents and ex-servicemen. It goes up to 42 years in the case of blind, deaf-mute and orthopaedically handicapped candidates.
It may be recalled that on two other occasions, the Centre has acted promptly after Rahul's intervention; the first time was in 2013 when the government went back on its plan to scrap a controversial legislation that would have protected convicted MPs and MLAs and more recently when the Centre increased the number of susbidised LPG cylinders from 9 to 12 per household.