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Ramakanta Biswas

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that states cannot promote students without holding exams while hearing a batch of petitions seeking cancellation of final year/terminal semester university examinations.

The apex court upheld the University Grants Commission's (UGC) July 6 circular, directing varsities to conduct final year exams by September 30.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah while pronouncing the judgement gave states/UTs the liberty to approach UGC seeking postponement of exams.

Here are the major takeaways from the SC judgement

  • UGC guidelines to hold exams by Sept 30 not quashed.
  • Decision of State Disaster Management Authority to postpone exams will prevail over UGC guidelines.
  • SDMA cannot direct to pass students based on previous performance
  • States/UTs cannot pass students without exams as directed by UGC
  • States/UTs given liberty to approach UGC to seek postponement of exams

On July 6 University Grants Commission (UGC) had issued guidelines asking universities across the country to hold final year examinations by September 30. However, several students and organisations had challenged the UGC guidelines citing the risk posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The petitioners have demanded the apex court to consider scrapping online/offline test and instead direct UGC to declare results based on the past performance of the students or internal assessment.

On August 18, the apex court had heard the arguments from a battery of senior advocates appearing for various stakeholders and reserved the verdict.

Read More: UGC Says Final Year Exams Cannot Be Cancelled; Verdict On Odisha & Other State’s PILs Reserved

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