The Supreme Court gave time to the University Grants Commission to reply to the affidavits filed by the Delhi and Maharashtra governments which detailed the decision of cancellation of final year state university exams admist the Covid-19 pandemic on Monday.The SC was hearing pleas of 31 students challenging the UGC circular of 6th July, asking all universities to conduct final year exams by September end.
The affidavits cited Disaster Management Act guidelines to support the decision and the 3-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan asked the UGC to reply if the Disaster Management Act can override the UGC decision. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that only the UGC has the authority to examine and make rules regarding university examinations and state governments cannot challenge this. He also added that cancellation of exams is not in favour of the students as degrees are only recognized after passing exams conducted by the respective universities. In a 50-page affidavit, the commission said that decision to conduct the exams was taken 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,” reported Firstpost.
The Maharashtra government had decided to cancel exams on 7th August, followed by the Delhi Government after vice chancellors from most universities voted against the conduction of exams.
The next hearing is scheduled on 14th August.