(Eds: Adds Deputy CM's quotes) Mumbai/Pune, Mar 12 (PTI) The preliminary examination of the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC), which was earlier scheduled for coming Sunday, will now be held on March 21, the commission announced on Friday.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar criticized the commission, saying it did not handle the issue properly.
The MPSC had on Thursday once again postponed the exam, which is required for government jobs, citing the COVID-19 situation. It led to protests by students all over the state.
'The exam will now be held on March 21 across the state at the same centres. The students who have received hall ticket to appear for the exam (on March 14) will be considered eligible for the March 21 exam,' the commission said on Friday.
It also announced that other two examinations scheduled for March 27 and April 21 will be held as per the schedule and there was no change in dates.
The preliminary examination was to take place in April last year, but was repeatedly delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Talking to reporters in Pune, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the MPSC failed 'to handle the situation in my opinion'.
But the issue was now over as the new exam date has been announced, the NCP leader added.
On Thursday, angry students protested in Pune and many other parts of the state while leaders of the ruling coalition members Congress and NCP as well as opposition BJP blasted the postponement decision.
Later in the evening, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray assured that the new date will be announced on Friday.
Relief and Rehabilitation Minister and Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar, whose department had issued the circular about the postponement, claimed that the decision was taken by officials by keeping him in the dark. PTI ND SPK NP BNM KRK KRK