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University free to hold exams for 1st & 2nd year students, says Supreme Court

September 4, 2020

The Supreme Court on Thursday, August 5, 2020, said that universities were free to conduct examinations for the semester or terminal examinations for promoting the first and second-year students in undergraduate and postgraduate courses. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy, and MR Shah said, “The University Grants Commission (UGC) has left it to the discretion of the Universities to conduct examinations for the 1st and 2nd-year students. If they want to hold the examination, we can’t stop them. This is not a ground for judicial review.”

The top court was hearing a PIL filed by a student Ayush Yesudas, who claimed that as per the UGC Guidelines of April 27, 2020, 1st and 2nd year students of undergraduate/postgraduate courses have to be assessed purely on basis of internal assessment and not an examination. This decision was taken due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bench further said that this issue was dealt with by its August 14 judgment where it upheld the UGC’s July 6 Guideline mandating examinations for the final year students in UG/PG courses. At the same time, Universities were given the freedom to hold examinations for promoting students n the previous years.

The April 27 UGC Guidelines said, “For intermediate semester/year students, the Universities may conduct examinations, after making a comprehensive assessment of their level of preparedness, residential status of the students, status of COVID-19 pandemic spread in different region / state and other factors. In case the situation does not appear to be normal in view of COVID-19, in order to maintain “social distancing”, safety and health of the students, grading of the students could be composite of 50% marks on the basis of the pattern of internal evaluation adopted by the universities and the remaining 50% marks can be awarded on the basis of performance in previous semester only (if available).”

The petitioner cited this to state, “The COVID-19 situation is still not normal. Holding examinations in these circumstances will amount to a violation of UGC Guidelines.”

The bench dismissed the petition saying, “This Court cannot be expected to start monitoring the examination of each college. Holding the examination does not violate the UGC Guideline.”for promoting students n the previous years.

Source: Hindustan Times

Read: UGC guidelines: SC says exams will be held, can change deadline

Also read: Centre permits UGC to conduct university exams; next SC hearing on August 18

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