The University Grants Commission (UGC) has informed the Supreme Court that it will not alter its July 6 guidelines mandating universities across India to conduct their final year examinations by September 2020 (Praneeth K & Ors. v. University Grants Commission & Ors).
The 50-page affidavit is in response to a batch of petitions challenging the UGC guidelines for being arbitrary, claiming that conducting the exams during the COVID-19 pandemic will put students at great risk.
The UGC has further stated that in case students are unable to appear for the exam, they would be given a chance to appear at a specially conducted exam at a later date so that they are not put to any “inconvenience or disadvantage.” The affidavit states,
“It is also wrong to say that students will be ‘forced’ to appear for such examinations at the cost of their health because the UGC’s guidelines permit universities/institutions to hold examinations as a special chance for those students who are unable to participate in the examinations that will be held by the end of September 2020.”
While requesting the Apex Court to dismiss the petitions, it has stated that “final year exams are important as learning is a dynamic process where the only way to figure out what students know is by seeking evidence of their knowledge.”
Also Read: Plea Against UGC Directive to Take Final Year Exams By 30th Sept In Karnataka HC; No Rationality in Differentiation in the Mode of Assessment Of Final Year Students and Intermediate Semester Students
In response to the petitioners urging the UGC to follow the call taken by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and other boards to cancel exams this year, the affidavit states,
“The nature of examinations conduct by CBSE, ICSE or ICAI…are very different from those that are the subject matter of the UGC Guidelines. In the present case, the UGC is concerned with final year/terminal semester examinations which will have a lasting and indelible effect on the academic credibility, career opportunities and future progress of the students.”
This matter was tagged with three others – including one petition by law student Yash Dubey, the plea by Aaditya Thackeray’s Yuva Sena, and a petition filed by final year student Krushna Waghmare.