The bench of judges Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah reserved a verdict on the matter on August 18 after an extensive hearing over two days. The bank is expected to pronounce its judgment on Friday in petitions to cancel the final audits.
On July 6, the UGC’s revised policy instructed that all universities and colleges should conduct final exams as part of the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with Standard Operating Instructions.
However, some state governments had already canceled the university’s final exams and asked universities to consider introducing an alternative labeling system as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has soared. Not only students, but also teachers’ associations and youth wing of political parties turned to the Supreme Court to request that the exams be canceled.
The University Grants Commission had told the Supreme Court that states cannot make decisions about awarding degrees without holding exams. It had told the court that the policy is “for the benefit of the students” as universities must begin the graduate admissions process and state authorities cannot override the UGC policy.
The Supreme Court ruled that the problem is that if the state civil protection agency has ruled that the situation is not conducive to conducting audits, the UGC can override it. Another question was whether the Commission could override the state authorities and ask universities to hold exams on certain dates.
The Apex court was previously informed by one of the petitioners that in “normal times” nobody is against the university exams and that the students are challenging the UGC’s decision about the pandemic.
(With input of PTI)