Alert: The Supreme Court today gave the verdict that final year students cannot be promoted without terminal semester examinations. The Court upheld the July 6 circular of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to hold university final year examinations by September 30.
However, the states and union territories can ask the UGC to extend the examination deadline.
“States cannot promote students based on an internal assessment or past performance. If states want to hold exams after September 30, they can approach UGC for the same,” the three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said.
According to reports, within the 800 universities in the country, 209 have completed the examinations while around 390 universities are in the process of conducting exams.
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Many students are protesting against the UGC guideline to conduct exams due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The petitioners are constantly highlighting the economic divide, natural disasters, inaccessibility to resources and health risks. Indeed the admission for the post-graduation courses as well as job incentives is uncertain now. But the petitioners want alternative sources for evaluation. There shouldn’t be a choice between examinations and health.
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In August, the UGC had questioned the decisions of Maharashtra board to cancel final year exams. The UGC stated, “directly affect the standards of higher education and will be an encroachment on the legislative field of coordinating and determining the standards of higher education that is exclusively reserved for parliament under the constitution”.
The Supreme Court had said if the state disaster management authority has decided that the situation is not feasible for holding exams, it can overrule the UGC. The state disaster management authority’s decision to not conduct examinations shall prevail over the UGC deadline. Although the decision to cancel examinations and promote students is beyond their jurisdiction.
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Inputs: India Today and NDTV