University Exams UGC Guidelines 2020: The Supreme Court will tomorrow hear petitions filed against the UGC’s July 6 directive to conduct final year examinations in universities during the Kovid-19 epidemic. The Commission had directed all universities and colleges to conduct final year examinations by 30 September. Earlier during the hearing on August 10, the UGC questioned the decision to cancel the final year exams at state universities in Delhi and Maharashtra, saying that it was against the rules. The Supreme Court also wanted to know from the government whether UGC notification and guidelines can be canceled under the State Disaster Management Act? Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the UGC, sought some time for a response and the bench adjourned the hearing till 14 August.
Not conducting examinations, not in the interest of the students:
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said before the bench headed by UGC Justice Ashok Bhushan that the rules of the State University Grants Commission cannot be changed as only UGC is empowered to make rules for the award of degrees is. During the hearing through video conference of the case, Mehta said that it is not in the interest of the students not to take examinations, and if the states take action on their own mind then it is possible that their degree is not valid.
During the hearing, Mehta apprised the bench of Delhi and Maharashtra’s decision to cancel the final year examinations in state universities. He said the commission would file its reply on affidavits in Maharashtra and Delhi. He should be given time for this. Accepting Mehta’s request, the bench listed the matter for August 14.
UGC directive, not law: Petitioner
Alakh Alok Shrivastava, appearing for some petitioners, claimed that the Commission’s July 6 instructions regarding conducting final year examinations are neither legal nor constitutional. He also raised the issue of guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs for educational institutions during the Kovid-19 epidemic.
On 31 July, the Supreme Court refused to give an interim order
The court had on July 31 refused to grant any interim order on a petition filed to quash the guidelines of the University Grants Commission for conducting final year examinations in September amid the Kovid-19 epidemic. The court told the Center that the Ministry of Home Affairs should clear its stand on the subject.
The UGC had said- Students should not be in any misconduct, keep preparing
UGC had also told the top court that no one should live in the misconception that due to the case pending in the court on the final year and semester examination Will be stopped The Solicitor General had said that he is worried about final year exams as 209 out of more than eight hundred universities in the country have completed the examination process and around 390 universities are currently preparing to conduct final year examinations.
The UGC, in an affidavit filed in the court, justified the decision to conduct final year and final semester examinations at the end of September, stating that this has been done to save the academic future of students across the country.
The UGC said in the affidavit that in view of the state of the Kovid-19 epidemic, it requested the expert committee to reconsider the April 29 guidelines in June. In the April guidelines, universities and educational institutions were asked to conduct final year examinations in July 2020.
According to the UGC, the expert committee did the same and in its report had recommended conducting semester and final year examinations by offline, on-line or mixed process at the end of September 2020.
According to the affidavit, the report of the expert committee was discussed and approved by the UGC in its July 6 meeting. Soon after, in view of the Kovid-19 epidemic, changed guidelines were issued regarding final year examinations.