The Supreme Court on Monday asked University Grants Commission (UGC) to file its reply to a batch of petitions seeking to quash the UGC’s guidelines mandating final year/semester examination by the end of September 2020.
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The court will hear the matter on July 31 by which date the UGC is required to file its response.
Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for one of the petitioners, stated that the decision to hold final year exams amid the COVID-19 pandemic was “unrealistic and remarkable”.
He further pointed out that several States had expressed their reservation against holding examinations amidst COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently universities were approached by the UGC to inform the status of the conduct of the examination. Out of 945 Universities (as per the list maintained by UGC till 01-06-2020) the responses were obtained from 755 Universities (120 Deemed Universities, 274 Private Universities, 40 Central Universities and 321 State Universities). Details are as follows:
- 194 have already conducted examination (on-line/off-line);
- 366 are planning to conduct examination (on-line/off-line/blended mode) in August/September
In addition, twenty seven Private Universities which were established from 2019-20 onwards are waiting for their first batch’s final examinations.
UGC said out of the 755 Universities, 560 Universities have either conducted the examination or are planning to conduct. It is waiting to receive information from the remaining Universities.
On July 6, UGC had issued revised guidelines to conduct terminal semester(s)/ final year(s) examinations by the end of September in offline (pen & paper)/online/ blended (online + offline) mode. In support of its guidelines, UGC had said it was important to safeguard the principles of health, safety, fair and equal opportunity for students. At the same time, it was very crucial to ensure academic credibility, career opportunities and future progress of students globally.
Ministry of Home Affairs had also allowed permission to conduct examinations by the Universities and Institutions.