While general-category candidates have so far been allowed six attempts until the age of 32, a 10 percent quota is now to be set aside for the upper-caste poor from this year onwards.

With applications for the 2019 civil services exam opening last month, an official in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the exam-conducting authority, told ThePrint that general-category aspirants had been flooding them with queries over whether the quota would also earn them aelaxation in the age limit and a number of attempts.

The official said the queries ought to be directed to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the nodal agency of the UPSC.

“The UPSC is only the implementing authority,” he said, adding, however that “if any such plan (relaxation of age limit or number of attempts) was on the anvil, the DoPT would have drafted it and communicated it to us”.

A highly-placed source in the UPSC ruled out the possibility of age and attempt exemptions altogether, saying the quota benefit would only extend to seats.

“It is unlikely that there would be any relaxation in age limit, or increase in the number of attempts. The quota for the economically weaker sections (EWS) would only amount to a certain number of seats set aside for beneficiaries,” the source said.

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