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Universities can take final call on conducting examinations: Gujarat High Court

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The Gujarat High Court has left it on the state-based varsities to take the final call regarding conduct of examinations in the physical form amid the coronavirus pandemic. The court, however, clarified that it will be the “bounden duty and obligation” of the varsities to ensure that students are not put to risk of any nature.

The court clarified its stance in a bunch of petitions filed against the conduct of physical examination by varsities amid the coronavirus pandemic. The petitions have pointed out that the decision of the varsities to conduct examinations in the physical form poses a great danger to the safety of the students.

The division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala in its judgment on the petitions said the universities shall not take any risk with the safety of students and can postpone examinations for some further time, if required.

The judgment provides: “We may only say that it is now for the respective Universities to take the final call for the purpose of conducting the examinations in physical form. It goes without saying that it will be the bounden duty and obligation of any University to conduct the examination in physical form in such a manner that the students are not put to any risk of any nature. The concerned Universities will have to be prepared in this regard in all respects. If the situation worsens or is not conducive, then the Universities may have to push the examination or postpone the examination for some further time. However, no risk shall be incurred of any nature while conducting the examination in the physical form.”

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The state government had vehemently opposed the petitions citing that the varsities are following the guidelines issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Notably, the UGC had on July 6 issued fresh guidelines regarding examinations and academic calendar for varsities amid the growing cases of the coronavirus.

According to the revised guidelines, the varsities have been asked to complete the terminal semester/final year examinations by the end of September 2020 in online or offline mode, or by blending the online and offline mode. The guidelines also provide that students having backlog in the terminal semester or final year will be compulsorily evaluated by conducting examination as per feasibility and suitability.

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