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UPSC aspirants with Imphal as exam centre can change it, Delhi HC told

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New Delhi, Mar 29 (PTI) The UPSC has told the Delhi High Court that it will permit candidates from the hill districts of Manipur who have opted for Imphal as their examination centre to change it and that the state government will facilitate their travel.

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The commission said such aspirants can choose any of the centres in Aizawl, Mizoram; Kohima, Nagaland; Shillong, Meghalaya; Dispur, Assam; Jorhat, Assam; Kolkata, West Bengal; and Delhi by making a request for change of examination centre between April 8 and 19 through an e-mail.

The statement came on a petition by Zomi Students Federation seeking setting up of examination centres in Churachandpur and Kangpokpi in the hill districts of Manipur for Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2024 and Indian Forest Service (Preliminary) Examination, 2024.

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) said that since the Manipur government has expressed its inability to open examination centres in Churachandpur and Kangpokpi, it was not feasible to open and operate examination venues there for the UPSC examination.

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"He (UPSC's counsel) assures that the Commission will permit the candidates from the hill districts of Manipur who have opted for Imphal as their examination centre to change their examination centre during the period 8th April, 2024 to 19th April, 2024 by making a request for change of examination centre at e-mail ID: uscsp-upsc@nic.in," recorded a bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet PS Arora in an order passed on Thursday.

The court, in its order, also noted that the Manipur government has decided to extend financial assistance in the form of reimbursement of fare for conveyance, limited to the maximum of 2nd class sleeper railway fare rates or notified bus fare rate of the State, as well as for fooding and accommodation at the rate of Rs 1,000 per day for three days at the maximum.

In case of any need, the candidates from these districts can contact the Commission's toll-free helpline number 1800118711, added the court.

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Closing the proceedings on the petition, the court "accepted" the statements and assurances given by the Commission as well as by the State of Manipur and said they would be held bound by the same.

Manipur plunged into violence in May 2023 over a high court order directing the state government to consider including the non-tribal Meitei community in the list of Scheduled Tribes.

This order led to rampant ethnic clashes. More than 160 people have been killed and several hundred injured since the ethnic violence first broke out in the state on May 3 when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status. PTI ADS SMN

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