UGC exam news: Supreme Court today heard the petitions challenging the final-year examination guidelines issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan has reserved its judgment and sought written submissions from all parties within 3 days.
The UGC told the top court that UGC final year exams can be postponed but not cancelled. While representing the UGC, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta also stated that states can consider pushing the September 30 deadline ahead but not cancellation of exams and that degrees cannot be conferred without conducting exams.
Solicitor General Mehta also mentioned that the Maharashtra government committee also recommends that the examinations shall be conducted.
Before the hearing, petitioners filed a written submission before the apex court on Monday, stating that the UGC's call to conduct final year exams is violative of the UGC Act and Regulations. The petition filed by Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava mentions that the UGC final guidelines dated July 6, 2020 asking all universities to conduct exams till September 30 violates Section 12 of the UGC Act.
During the hearing, Senior Advocate Arvind Datar stated how badly Maharashtra is hit by COVID-19, and thus, brought the issues related to conducting UGC final year exams in the entire state to focus.
After this, the bench also comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah explained the scope allocated to authority in the Disaster Management Act and mentioned "Only the authorities can decide what is in their welfare. Students are not competent enough to decide."
Justice Bhushan said that the arguments need to be raised in an all-binding manner and not in a state-specific way as the UGC is applicable across India. In addition to this, Justice Bhushan also stated that if there are different dates for different states, in that case, it can be said that the UGC is being discriminatory.