New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) today, in its reply to the averments made by state governments, refused to agree to the cancellation of exams. The UGC filed its affidavit before the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court was approached by 31 students from all over India seeking that the circular issued by UGC asking universities to conduct final year examinations by September 30 be quashed.
The affidavit stated: “…the State Govt. avers that the next academic session must begin in the interest of students, while, at the same time, contending that the final examinations should be canceled and degrees can be awarded without such examinations even though such a step would irreparably damage the future of students.” It called the contention of the government, meritless.
“UGC’s Guidelines recognize the need to follow the protocols/guidelines/directions/advisories issued in respect of the COVID—l9 pandemic and must be read along with the detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that have been prepared by the MHRD for conducting such examinations”, the affidavit stated.
UGC further submitted that the UGC is proactively dealing with the fallout of the pandemic through various means, including by issuing Guidelines such as those of 29.04.2020 and 06.07.2020.
UGC further contended that it has s addressed the concerns relating to the evolving situation of the pandemic by:
a. providing sufficient time till the end of September 2020 to conduct the final year/terminal semester examinations after following the prescribed protocols and procedures relating to COVID—19;
b. giving sufficient flexibility to universities/institutions to conduct such examinations in online, offline (pen & paper) or blended (online + offline) mode; and,
c. providing for an examination through the special chance for students who “for whatsoever the reason(s) may be” are unable to appear for the examinations conducted by a university/institution by end of September 2020.
-India Legal Bureau