The Supreme Court today, July 31, refused to pass an interim order on pleas challenging University Grants Commission‘s revised guidelines of conducting final year university exams in September. During the July 30 hearing, the UGC remained adamant on its decision of not cancelling the final year exams, asking all universities of conducting final year exams by September end. It added that the revised guidelines of July 6 will offer sufficient flexibility and are intended to protect the academic future of students.
In its affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the Commission states that its decision was taken “after due deliberation by taking into account and balancing all relevant factors”.
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan conducted the hearing of the batch of pleas challenging the UGC guidelines mandating the holding of final year exams. The bench, also comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah, was informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and the UGC, that he would apprise the court about MHA’s stand on the issue. Mehta said they are only concerned with final year exams and out of over 800 universities in the country, 209 have completed the examinations. He added that around 390 universities are in the process of conducting the examinations.
“Let nobody remain under the impression that since this court is examining this, it will be stayed. Let students continue with their studies,” Mehta said.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) had filed a 50-page affidavit on a batch of petitions, including the one filed by Shiv Sena’s youth wing ‘Yuva Sena’, which have challenged its guidelines issued on July 6 for holding the exams in September amidst the persisting coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The UGC said it has issued such guidelines to “protect the academic future of students across the country which will be irreparably damaged if their final year/terminal semester examinations are not held, while also keeping in mind their health and safety.”