Representing the UGC, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that it is not in the interest of the students to not have exams.
The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the University Grants Commission (UGC) time to file a reply on the affidavits to Maharashtra and Delhi governments, and scheduled the next hearing on August 14. Appearing for the UGC, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, “States cannot change rules and it is not in the interest of students to not have exams.” Delhi and Maharashtra decided not to conduct final term exams, disregarding the July 6 notification by the UGC which makes final exams mandatory by September end.
The Supreme Court sought clarification from the UGC on whether the Disaster Management Act would revoke the UGC’s July 6 guidelines for final year exams.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta questioned how the states can cancel the exams when UGC is the only body to confer degrees.
The apex court heard pleas filed by a group of 31 students against the final year exam guidelines set by the University Grants Commission (UGC). During the hearing, Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, representing a group of 31 students said that the concern is not the reply of the states, but the legality of the UGC guidelines.
SG Mehta emphasised that the students need to continue studying, as they will not be granted degrees if exams are not conducted. “That’s the law,” he said.
Through the plea, students from 13 states and one union territory have sought to scrap the end semester examination. The application urges the Supreme Court to cancel the exams and the results of such students should be calculated on the basis of their internal assessment or past performance. The petition was filed on July 20, stating that it has been “showing apathy towards the students” and failed to take into account many aspects like rising COVID-19 cases, Assam floods, lack of connectivity in J&K, etc.
The Supreme Court on July 31 adjourned the hearing on an array of petitions challenging the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) revised guidelines released on July 6, in which UGC had asked the varsities to conduct the final year examination by the end of September.
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