Pune: In what could come as a relief for over 25,000 students appearing annually for the Union Public Service Commission exams from Pune, the city has been now been declared as the preliminary examination centre.
The union public service commission notified on Saturday that Maharashtra will host the exam in August at 5 centres- Pune, Thane, Mumbai, Aurangabad and Nagpur. The exam was conducted in Mumbai, Aurangabad and Nagpur until 2013, and students from the city would have to travel to one of these centres.
Aspirants are now demanding the same for the UPSC mains exam, too. While Pune’s UPSC aspirants hail this much awaited decision as a ‘very good’ one, they have reservations about the preparedness of the city to conduct the exam.
Savita Kulkarni, Head of Department of the competitive exam centre at Jnana Prabodini said, “This decision is convenient for our students, if the government ensures that the administration has trained staff to conduct the exam. Any mistake on the part of the invigilator during question paper distribution can lead to rejection of the student’s candidature.”
But, many also feel it is a blessing for the students. Tejashree Mokashi, a civil services aspirant and resident of Pune said, “The preliminary exam is conducted during the rainy season, and travelling to Mumbai becomes very cumbersome. Focus on the exam preparations somewhat reduces as finding cheap accommodation and decent food takes priority.”
Tukaram Jadhav, Head of Unique Academy, said about 25,000 students from Pune appear for the preliminary exams every year. “When they write the exam from their comfort zone, it will positively influence the results,” he said.
Students are apprehensive that UPSC might declare centres 40-50 kms from Pune. Vishwajeet Patil, 23, an aspirant said, “We do not know how far from the city the centres will be even if the notification says Pune. I would prefer to travel to Mumbai one day in advance.” Avinash Dharmadhikari of Chanakya Mandal Pariwar and a former IAS officer said, “We have been demanding for long that Pune be made an exam centre. It is the hub of civil services aspirants from all over Maharashtra and making it an exam centre has formalized its importance,” he said.