The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on the pleas seeking cancellation of the final year university exams due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The Supreme Court reserved its verdict after a thorough hearing on the issue and asked the counsels to submit notes containing their submissions within three days.
The petitioners have challenged the July 6 directive of the University Grants Commission (UGC). The commission in its directive has asked all universities and colleges to conduct final year examinations by September 30.
The commission’s decision has miffed many students and parents who are concerned about safety amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Centre says varsities can seek extension of deadline
During the hearing on Tuesday, solicitor general Tushar Mehta contended that universities can seek the exam deadline to be pushed back. But, they cannot take the decision to hand out degrees without conducting exams.
The Union government on August 13 had submitted to the Supreme Court that it has permitted the University Grants Commission (UGC) to conduct examinations. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said permission has been granted keeping in mind the academic interest of students.
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Pursuant to the requests made by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), directions have been issued under NDMA to conduct the exams, MHA had submitted.
Exams will be conducted, says UGC
The UGC had earlier submitted before the apex court that people should not be under the impression that since the matter is being examined by the court, the exams will be stayed.
Appearing for the Union government, solicitor general Tushar Mehta had submitted that they are only concerned with final year exams. He added that out of over 800 universities in the country, 209 have completed the examinations.
He had said that around 390 universities are in the process of conducting the examinations.
“Let nobody remain under the impression that since this court is examining this, it will be stayed. Let students continue with their studies,” Mehta had said.
UGC questions Delhi, Maharashtra’s decision
The UGC on August 10 had questioned the decision of the Delhi and Maharashtra governments to cancel the final year exams of state universities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The UGC had contended before the Supreme Court that the action of the state governments was in contravention of rules.
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