UGC Final Year Exams – Supreme Court to pronounce its judgment in petitions seeking cancellation of exams. The Supreme Court of India will give its final verdict on UGC guidelines today, August 28, putting an end to anxiety of lakhs of students. The court will pronounce the final order or judgment in the UGC matter at 10:30 am, the lawyer representing the 31 students who moved the Supreme Court against the UGC guidelines for examination 2020, said.
In its revised guidelines, the UGC has mandated that all final year exams be conducted amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while following the Standard Operating Procedure. However, in the wake of the consistently worsening situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, some state governments had already cancelled university exams, while asking universities to consider adopting an alternative marking system.
The UGC’s guidelines prompted not just students, but also teachers’ associations and youth wings of political parties to the Supreme Court. Before the Court, the power of the UGC to lay down a direction of this nature while overriding the provisions of the Disaster Management Act was called into question. Another question that was put before the Court was whether state governments can declare against holding of exams when it is the UGC which is empowered to confer degrees on students.
During the 3-hour-long hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had noted that the Universities can seek for the deadline to be pushed, however, they cannot take the decision to confer degrees without holding exams.
The bench had said it will also decide whether the states will have power under the Disaster Management Act to postpone the final examination till the COVID-19 situation normalises. The hearing was concluded on August 18. Last week, the state governments of Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal and Odisha had urged the top court to direct the UGC to defer the final year examinations as the lives of lakhs of university students could be jeopardised due to the pandemic
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.
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