Supreme Court has announced that the degrees cannot be granted without the final year examinations. The exams can be, in effect, postponed and conducted later. States can approach UGC to extend the September 30 deadline.
Exams are Mandatory, rules SC.
The governments will not be allowed to promote students without holding final year university examinations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But, the Court gave states the discretion to approach the University Grants Commission (UGC) for an extension of the deadline by which final year exams should be completed.
The order was pronounced by a Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subshash Reddy, and MR Shah. The Bench held today that the decision taken by the State of Maharashtra to cancel exams amid the pandemic under the Disaster Management Act shall prevail.
In its revised guidelines, the UGC mandated that all final year exams be conducted amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while following the Standard Operating Procedure.
A host of Senior Counsel including Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Shyam Divan, and Arvind Datar argued in favour of the interests of the students. They pointed out that the decision taken by some state governments to cancel the exams was only on account of the rising COVID-19 figures. Under normal circumstances, a deferment or cancellation of exams would not be stipulated.
Singhvi, appearing for final year law student Yash Dubey, said that the UGC’s initial guidelines displayed an element of sensitivity and flexibility. However, this element was completely absent in its revised guidelines, under which a deadline of September 30 was fixed without taking into consideration the ground situation in different places.
UGC had also registered its opposition to the stance taken by the governments of Maharashtra and Delhi not to conduct final year exams this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its reply, UGC averred that the state governments are taking contradictory stands with regard to starting the academic session and conduct of the final year exams.
Initially, a total of 31 students from different universities across India had approached the Supreme Court to quash the UGC circular directing universities to wrap up final year examinations by September 30.