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After the University Grants Commission filed its Counter Affidavit in the Supreme Court today, a rejoinder has been filed by Alakh Alok Srivastava on behalf of all the petitioners stating that the Commission had miserably failed take into account the worsening COVID 19 situation and the issues raised by them.

It has been stated that one out of the 31 students who had approached the Apex Court has been tested positive and the UGC has failed to appreciate that there would be another set of students who due to their unwell health conditions may be deprived from appearing in the final year exams which will be in violation to their fundamental right to equality under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.

Responding to the Commissions submission that the direction to hold final year examinations by September 30 was issued to protect the academic future of students, the petitioners have submitted that the Commission has not responded as to who shall be responsible for the loss of job opportunities or Admission deadlines of those students due to late completion of final year exams by September 30, when other students had completed their exams by July 31. 

It has further been submitted that the Commission has overlooked the concerns of many students who have applied in foreign universities and have secured campus placements who are required to submut their degree certificates by July 31.

On the UGC’s contention that the conduct of final year exams is necessary to test the students on specialized elective courses studied by them during their semester, the petitioners have submitted that “Most courses now a days follow semester pattern, meaning thereby that subjects change every semesters. It effectively means that a final year/ final term student has already completed 85-90% of his/ her case and even studied the final semester. In such a case, there is no harm, if he/ she is awarded
aggregate of previous semester marks. The same pattern is being followed by various foreign countries as well.”

Moreover conducting exams amid COVID 19 Pandemic poses serious threat to life of all those involved in the examination procedure such as students, examiners, staff etc, however the petitioner has submitted that the Commission has failed to take into account plight of students who will not be able to travel across the country.

Hence, it has been prayed that the final year students be treated at par with the students of CBSE, ICSE, NIOS and be promoted on the basis of past performance of the students. 

-India Legal Bureau

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