The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the University Grants Commission's July 6 circular to hold university exams. The apex court said that the states must hold exams to promote students. States can, under the Disaster Management Act can postpone exams in view of the pandemic. They must consult the UGC and come up with a solution, it said.
The apex court stated that exams must be held but dates can be altered. It added that the decision of State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMA) to postpone exams will prevail. It, however, pointed out that SDMA cannot decide to promote students without holding exams.
A three-judge bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, MR Shah and R Subhash Reddy said that in cases where states decide not to conduct examination, they can approach the UGC to seek an extension of the deadline.
In its July 6 circular, UGC had announced that colleges and universities would need to conduct final year exams and final semester exams by end of September. These examinations can be conducted offline or online or blended -- offline plus online -- modes. The regulator said that holding exams is needed to maintain credibility.
The UGC had also told the apex court earlier that Delhi and Maharashtra governments' decision to cancel examinations would "impact the standards of higher education in the country".
The Supreme Court had reserved its judgment on August 18 and said it would also look into whether states have the power under Disaster Management Act to defer examinations.