Final year students exam compulsory, states can delay schedule: SC

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Students writing exam (Representational Image)
Students writing exam (Representational Image)

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Friday ruled in favour of UGC and said promoting final year students without an examination will not be correct; the apex court upheld its July 6 directive of the University Grants Commission (UG) to hold exams by September 30.

The SC has also allowed states to decide the exam dates as per their convenience. 

"States cannot promote students based on internal assessment or past performance. If states want to hold exams after September 30, they can approach UGC for the same," the bench said.

Several political outfits and states had filed a petition in Supreme Court against UGC's directive to hold the examination amid coronavirus pandemic. 

UGC had earlier told the top court that its July 6 directive, asking universities and colleges to conduct final year exams by September 30 amid the Covid-19 pandemic, is “not a diktat” but states cannot take the decision to confer degrees without holding the exams.

It had told the court that the directive is for the “benefit of students” as the universities have to start admissions to postgraduate courses and state authorities cannot override the UGC’s guideline.

One of the petitioner's had told the court earlier that none of them are against the examinations by the universities in "normal times" and students are challenging the UGC decision amid coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the commission claimed that the final year examinations are a crucial step in the academic future of a student. 

On August 10, UGC had questioned the decisions of Delhi and Maharashtra governments to cancel final year exams of state universities amid the Covid-19 pandemic, saying they were against the rules. The Solicitor General had earlier informed the bench that out of over 800 universities in the country, 209 have completed the examinations while around 390 universities are in the process of conducting exams.

UGC had said, while assailing the decisions of some states like Maharashtra and Delhi of cancelling the final year exams, that such decisions directly affect the standards of higher education. It will be an encroachment on the legislative field of coordinating and determining the standards of higher education that is exclusively reserved for Parliament under Schedule VII of the Constitution, it had said.