Final Year Exams Mandatory for Promotion of Students: Supreme Court

The verdict which every final year student was waiting for since days came out today. The bench of judges- Justice Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy, M R Shah gave the ruling. The Supreme Court had announced that final year students could not be promoted without exams but the State/Union Territory Government could demand for extension of the deadline from UGC (University Grants Commission) for the commencement of examinations.

This came into view when many students and organizations went against UGC’s regulation of July 6 in the wake of the prevalent pandemic. One of the petitioners was a COVID-19 patient himself. Along with then Shiv Sena’s youth wing Yuva Sena also joined the hands against the UGC guidelines. They have been demanding full scrapping of final year exams online or offline, both and also the declaration of results based on previous academic performances or internal assessment. 

On April 29, UGC had published regulations for universities and colleges to follow to hold exams by July, 2020. It was regulated by an expert committee headed by Chairperson of Central University of Haryana, R C Kuhad. According to the guideline’s universities had the authorization of administering exams either in online or offline mode by following social-distancing measures.

As COVID-19 was not abating, UGC issued a new guideline in June, reassessing it by holding an expert’s meeting again and in the fresh guideline issued on July 6, it was mentioned that examinations should be commenced by the end of September. States where the COVID situation was worse, their universities took a step of not conducting examinations, which were – Delhi, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. The Disaster Management Act of 2005 was invoked by Delhi and Maharashtra governments to cancel the exams as they didn’t see it fit for students to undertake examinations. This law renders central and state governments to act and take stronger actions to attenuate disaster situations.    

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