Published: 13th August 2020
UGC tells SC that Maharashtra, Delhi had no right to conceal final year exams - tells them to conduct it now
The Supreme Court will next hear the writs challenging the examinations on August 14. 33 students and Yuva Sena have submitted these petitions
The UGC told the Supreme Court that the Maharashtra and Delhi governments had no authority to cancel exams for final years before they issues guidelines. They also reiterated that the states would have to conduct exams in one mode or the other and only then promote the students.
The UGC, in a response to an affidavit filed by a group associated with the Shiv Sena, has asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the writs by challenging its decision to conduct examinations amid the pandemic. The response was filed by the regulator's respondent Apoorv Kurup, to an affidavit filed by Yuva Sena, one of the petitioners in the matter. The matter will be next heard by the Supreme Court on Friday.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray had, in June, announced that all students would be promoted, including those in the final year, as the state was among the worst hit by the COVID pandemic. The CM received some flak as students were not pleased at having 'COVID promoted' on their marksheets.
The response says that the UGC has been "proactively dealing with the fallout of the pandemic through various means, including the issuing if guidelines." It adds that the UGC has addressed all the concerns and one of the procedures undertaken by it was to extend the examination deadline to September 30, 2020. The regulator added that it allowed flexibility to the universities to conduct these examinations online, offline or in a blended mode.
The UGC criticised the governments of Delhi and Maharashtra for cancelling the examinations prematurely, owing to the pandemic and said that the states will have to adhere to the regulator's guidelines issued on July 6. "The Respondent—State’s decision to cancel final year/terminal semester examinations and graduate students without such examinations, encroaches on the legislative field of coordinating and determining the standards of higher education that is exclusively reserved for Parliament under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VH of the Constitution," reads the affidavit.