Over 52,000 candidates from across the region will appear for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) preliminary exam to be held on August 7 across 127 centres in Chandigarh and Ludhiana.
Over 11.36 lakhs aspirants, the highest to date, are scheduled to appear for the exam countrywide on Sunday. In Chandigarh alone, 40,000 candidates from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh will take the exam across 96 centres for which 78 educational buildings have been earmarked. Another 11,558 candidates will appear at 31 centres in 21 educational institutions in Ludhiana.
A total of 1,012 Chandigarh Police cops have been pressed into service for security and frisking of candidates at the 96 centres in the UT. Thirty police control room vehicles (PCR), along with these many personal security officers have been attached with 30 assistant coordinating supervisors who will be on duty.
In Ludhiana, 310 police personnel, 10 at each of the 31 centres, apart from 50 cops in reserve, have been deployed to ensure no electronic gadgets are taken inside exam centres. As many as 1,100 invigilators have been appointed in Ludhiana, besides a government official at each centre.
The exam centre at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, has been reserved for physically challenged aspirants where 19 such candidates will take the test.
Ludhiana’s additional deputy commissioner Apneet Riyat, who is the coordinating supervisor from Ludhiana, said students coming from other districts had been advised to arrive well in advance and to double check their centre code and centre. “No one will be allowed to enter the centre after 9.40am,” said Riyat.
The test will be conducted in two sessions — from 9.30am to 11.30am and 2.30pm to 4.30pm.
Candidates from Punjab appearing in Ludhiana triple
There has been a staggering 250 % rise in the number of aspirants from Punjab vying to join the country’s top administrative services at the test centres in Ludhiana as compared to the previous year.
While just 3,500 students from across the state appeared for the exam in 2015, the number this year has reached 11,558.
Officials say the relaxation in age limit and hike in the number of allowed attempts, which came into effect in 2014, has led to the increase. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has increased the total number of attempts to six, an increase of two, and increased the upper age limit to 32.