SC upholds UGC decision to hold final year by September 30
New Delhi, Aug 28: The Supreme Court has upheld the July 6 circular of the University Grants Commission to hold final year exams.
The court said that states must hold the exams to promote students. The court also said that states under the Disaster Management Act can postpone the exams in view of the pandemic and can consult UGC to fix dates.
The final year exams will be held by September 30. If any state feels that it cannot conduct the exams, they must approach the UGC for suitable relief.
The court had on August 18 reserved its verdict and had also given all the parties three days time to present their final arguments. The SC would decide on whether the final year degree examinations should be held before September 30.
Students have been protesting against the UGC for allowing universities and colleges to hold the final year exams amidst the ongoing pandemic.
On August 10, the UGC told the Supreme Court that it is the sole authority to take a decision on whether the exams should be conducted or not.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court on behalf of the UGC that the decision can be taken by the body only as it only it can grant degrees. He further questioned the decision taken by the governments of Maharashtra and Delhi under the Disaster Management Act to cancel the final examinations.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had asked the Maharashtra and Delhi government to place on record the decision to cancel the exams. The Ministry of Home Affairs too was asked about its stand on the matter.
The court is hearing a batch of petitions that sought cancellation of the final term exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The UGC said that the universities were approached to inform the status of the conduct of the exams and responses were received from 818 universities (121 deemed universities, 291 private universities, 51 central universities, and 355 state universities).
Out of the 818 universities, 603 have either conducted the examination or are planning to conduct. 209 others have already conducted examination (on-line/off-line), 394 are planning to conduct examination (on-line/off-line/blended mode) in August or September.
Many students had urged that the exams be cancelled and the results of the students be calculated on the basis of their internal assessment or past performance.