Examination Current Affairs - 2020

GoI: “MHRD AICTE COVID-19 Student Helpline portal” launched

The Ministry of Human Resource and Development has launched “MHRD AICTE COVID-19 Student Helpline Portal”. The portal aims to support students facing difficulties due to closure of hostel and colleges.


The ministry has launched a website https://helpline.aicte-india.org with the main objective of connecting those who are in need of help with those that are willing to help. Under this initiative, the students will be supported with examinations, scholarships, online classes, food, health, transport, etc. Around 6,500 colleges have come forward to provide support.

The portal was launched by the ministry in association with AICTE


The AICTE is All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). It is a statutory body operating under Ministry of HRD. It was an advisory body till 1945 and gained statutory status after parliament passed a law in 1987. The Council has powers to determine examination rules, curriculum, fee structure, etc. However, according to Supreme Court judgement 2013, the council has no rights to enforce sanction on an educational institution.

“Two additional attempts and two-year age relaxation” for all categories of candidates in UPSC’s Civil Services Exams

Screenshot_7The Union Government approved two additional attempts along-with a consequential age relaxation to all categories of candidates for the Civil Services Exam conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The new rules are effective from Civil Services Examination 2014.

The UPSC conducts the civil service exams to select members of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) among others.

As per the revised norms, the Ministry of Personnel stated that from this year :-

  • Unreserved (or general category) category candidates will get six attempts until 32 years of age.
  • There is no restriction on the number of attempts by candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs). But the age limit for such aspirants has been extended by two years from 35 to 37 years.
  • The Other Backward Classes (OBC) candidate will get nine attempts until 35 years of age.
  • Physically handicapped candidates in the general and OBC categories will be eligible for nine attempts as against the seven at present. They will also get age relaxations of 42 years for general and 45 years for OBC candidates.
  • There is no cap on the number of attempts by physically handicapped candidates in the SC and ST categories while there will be an age limit of 47 years for them as against the present 45 years. 

Till 2013, an unreserved candidate is permitted a maximum of four attempts with the age limit for such candidates to take the examination being 30 years. 

Note: The Civil Services Examination (Preliminary), 2014, is tentatively scheduled for August 24, 2014. The examinations are conducted in three stages: Preliminary, mains and interview.