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Centre agrees to one-time age relaxation for UPSC aspirants from J&K, says no for future

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The Government of India has agreed to give one-time relaxation in qualifying age for Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) candidates from Jammu and Kashmir.

“On the intervention of Hon’ble Chief minister, UPSC agrees for one time age relaxation for candidates of IAS exams from the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” JKCM’s Grievance Cell tweeted.

On Thursday, Mehbooba had spoken to Union Minister, Incharge Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Jitendra Singh on increasing the upper age limit for the state’s youth appearing for the UPSC.

Leader of Opposition in Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly and former chief minister Omar Abdullah too had asked the state government to seek enhancement in upper age for the UPSC aspirants from the state.

Dr Jitendra Singh is reported to have stated that 11 North Eastern and Himalayan States had also started pressing for age relaxation at par with Jammu and Kashmir and since this was not possible for the DoPT to cover so much States, the DoPT was left with no option but to treat all States at par by withdrawing the relaxation from J&K.

Moreover, the DoPT was of the view that circumstances in 1990 when the age relaxation was extended to Jammu and Kashmir, were “exceptional”, which didn’t exist now.

However, since thousands of students have already prepared for the examinations, the DoPT Minister is reported to have agreed for one-time extension for Jammu and Kashmir candidates.

In the evening, the Chief Minister also dispatched a written communication to the DoPT seeking extension in age relaxation for J&K candidates, in the UPSC exams.

“Spoke to MoS PMO @Dr Jitendra Singh Ji regarding the enhancement in the upper age limit for UPSC aspirants of J&K. He has assured me of positive response,” Mehbooba tweeted this evening.

According to sources, the DoPT Minister reportedly wanted the State Government to send out a message that age relaxation will be for one-time only as some candidates have prepared for the examinations and in future exams, no such extension will be granted as many other States especially from North East and Himalayan have also started asking for it.

Sources pointed out that one-time extension in age relaxation for the UPSC aspirants would benefit thousands of candidates, who would become eligible for appearing in the UPSC examinations. The age relaxation will be for five years in all categories.

In future, the age relaxation will be stopped.

They pointed out that the age relaxation for UPSC examinations to Jammu and Kashmir students was extended in 1990 when situation was “extremely disturbed” and large-scale migration has also taken place. However, they said, such circumstances didn’t exist now and, therefore, the relaxation period has to be withdrawn.

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