STATES CANNOT PROMOTE STUDENTS WITHOUT CONDUCTING FINAL YEAR EXAMS: SC UPHOLDS UGC DECISION TO CONDUCT FINAL YEAR EXAMS BY SEPTEMBER 30.

A 3-J Bench of the Supreme Court headed by J. Ashok Bhushan upheld the UGC decision to conduct final year exams of students in various states by September 30. Disposing off a batch of petitions filed against the UGC’s mandatory direction to hold final year varsity exams of students across the country (dated 6th July), the SC observed that students must not be promoted without conducting final year exams. The Bench maintained that states might choose to defer the exams in consultation with the UGC under the relevant provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The final decision in the matter was put on hold after the hearing commenced on August 18.

It was alleged on behalf of the petitioners that the impugned guidelines of UGC released on July 6th lacked flexibility and was adopted without due consideration of the ground conditions in various states. The SG Tushar Mehta submitted that states might seek an extension of the deadline in the matter; however, they cannot decide to confer degrees without conducting the final year exams. The UGC contested that its decision must not be assailed, for it will have severe implications on the future prospects of the qualifying students. Experts across various fields lauded the decision as a judicious approach to the challenges posed by the disruption of normal activities in the wake of the pandemic.

The judgment assumes significance in the backdrop of the recent SC verdict on conducting national level exams like JEE and NEET.

Reported By : Lakshmi Raj C

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