The Supreme Court today, August 28, 2020, upheld the University Grants Commission (UGC)‘s July 6 circular stating that final year examinations must be conducted by September 30. The apex court ruled that states must hold examinations to promote students and that states can postpone examinations under the Disaster Management Act, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. They can consult the UGC to fix fresh dates.
States, which are not inclined to hold final year exams by September 30, will have to make representation to the UGC, said the apex court. The UGC had earlier said that the July 6 guidelines are based on recommendations of experts and have been made after due deliberation and it is wrong to claim that it will not be possible to conduct the final examinations in terms of the guidelines.
Assailing the decisions of some states like Maharashtra and Delhi to cancel final year examinations, the UGC had said that such decisions directly affect standards of higher education and will be an encroachment on the legislative field of coordinating and determining the standards of higher education that is exclusively reserved for Parliament under Schedule VII of the Constitution.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan announced the judgement on the pleas challenging the decision of UGC to conduct final year exams.
Earlier, a press release by the Home Ministry said, “A press release issued by the Ministry said, “The final term examinations are to be compulsorily conducted as per the UGC guidelines on examinations and academic calendar for the universities; and as per the Standard Operating Procedure approved by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.”
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Also read: UGC to Supreme Court: Final year exams can be postponed, not cancelledNational, News