New Delhi: The Supreme Court today upheld the University Grant’s (UGC) decision to hold final year exams by September 30.
The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah said that States must hold exams to promote students, however if any state feels they cannot conduct exams, they must approach UGC for suitable reliefs.
The bench further said that State disaster management authority can postpone exams due to Covid pandemic but students cannot be promoted without final exams.
The bench had reserved its order on August 18, hearing after extensive hearing for two days.
The bench also upheld the decision taken by the State of Maharashtra to cancel exams amid the pandemic under the Disaster Management Act.
Pursuant to the UGC’s notification making it mandatory to hold final year semester exams for University students, a batch of petitions were filed in the Supreme Court challenging the UGC’s notification.
During the extensive hearing before the bench Senior Counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi had submitted that the initial guidelines of UGC was more sensible and flexible. However, the revised guidelines under which a deadline of September 30 was fixed was taken without taking into consideration the ground situation in different places.
Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora on the other hand pointed out difficulties that will be faced by students due to lack of infrastructural and technical facilities in conducting exams.
However, Advocate PS Narasimha appearing for UGC submitted that Students who want to go for higher education will be seriously affected if the final exam is not held.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on the other hand had submitted that the Universities can seek for the deadline to be pushed, however, they cannot take the decision to confer degrees without holding exams.
-India Legal Bureau