Pune: During a hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has opposed the decision of Maharashtra and Delhi state governments to cancel the final year exams of students this year. UGC has gone ahead and said that if the state governments go on their own, then the students’ degrees might not be recognised by the UGC.
The Supreme Court has scheduled the next hearing on Friday (August 14) in which it may take up the matter state wise. Meanwhile, UGC has also sought time to file replies to the affidavits submitted by the Maharashtra and Delhi governments on this issue.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta represented the UGC in the Supreme Court. While opposing the state governments’ decision to cancel exams, SG Mehta also told the Supreme Court that UGC is the sole authority to take a decision on whether exams should be conducted or not. “State governments can’t do this on their own as the UGC can only give degrees to students,” Mehta told SC.
UGC had earlier clarified that out of 640 universities in the country, 454 universities had planned for conducting examinations for final year students. Out of these, 182 universities are such in which students had appeared for exams for some subjects before the Covid-19 outbreak started. Hence the universities are ready to conduct exams for the remaining subject.
Apart from these, 38 universities had expressed their willingness to conduct entire examinations but were waiting for further clarity and instructions from the UGC. The Covid-19 outbreak situation at local level and state government’s stand on the issue are two factors on which the university management are stuck. About 27 private universities were started in 2019-20 and hence there are no students appearing for final year examinations.
About 32 students from several law colleges in the city have also petitioned the Supreme Court against the UGC order to conduct the final year examination this year citing threat to lives of students, teachers and supervisors at the exam centres. The students have requested the Supreme Court to uphold the decision of Maharashtra state government to cancel the final year exams this year in view of the Covid-19 outbreak.