The Supreme Court on Monday said that the next hearing on the University Grants Commission's directives for final-year exams will be held on August 14. The apex court today heard various petitions against the UGC guidelines making it mandatory for final year exams to be held by September 30. The apex court granted time to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for UGC, to respond to affidavits by Maharashtra and Delhi urging that final-year exams be cancelled amid coronavirus pandemic. The states had also requested that the results be declared based on the past performance of students. The top court sought clarification from Mehta appearing for UGC on whether Disaster Management Act can override the UGC's notification.
Earlier during the hearing, Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, who appeared for 31 students who had filed one of the petitions being heard by the apex court, raised questions on the legality of the UGC guidelines. Even as Delhi and Maharashtra had been asked to reply about holding the final-year exams amid the pandemic, their key concern was the legality of the UGC guidelines, Srivastava added.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan that states cannot change the rules of the University Grants Commission as only the UGC is empowered to prescribe rules for conferring degrees. Mehta argued that not conducting exams will not be in the interest of students and degrees may not be recognised if the states would act unilaterally. The UGC had earlier told the court that nobody should remain under the impression that since the Supreme Court is examining this issue, the final year or semester examination would be stayed.Also read: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to launch 'Atma Nirbhar Bharat Saptah' today