The University Grants Commission (UGC) has told the Supreme Court that the decision by the Delhi and Maharashtra governments to cancel the final exam “will have a direct impact on the standards of higher education in the country.”
The UGC filed an affidavit regarding the position of the Delhi and Maharashtra governments not to hold the university’s final exams. The UGC made the political decision to hold exams for the senior year / semester across the country in the interests of students, having given due consideration to the current pandemic situation.
“The UGC is the central body for regulating higher education standards in the country, including exam standards,” it added.
The affidavit was filed on a number of complaints contesting UGC’s July 6th circular and requesting that the final audit be canceled in light of the COVID-19 situation.
Previously, the Delhi and Maharashtra governments had notified the Supreme Court that they had canceled the test in the states.
“The decision of the state governments will have a direct impact on the university standards in the country, which the UGC is obliged to uphold,” submitted the UGC.
She added that, in exercising its powers under the UGC Act, the UGC first published the April 29, 2020 Guidelines, which laid down a statutory guideline that all higher education institutions must conduct final year / semester exams in order to ” to protect the academic and professional interests of students “while safeguarding their health.
Subsequently, the UGC released the revised guidelines of July 6, 2020, which reiterated the need to take final / final exams, whether in the form of a final exam or an annual final exam, as this is a crucial step in a student’s academic career . It is for this reason that the UGC has issued such guidelines to protect the academic futures of students across the country who will be irreparably harmed if their exams are not held for the final year / semester, while keeping their health and safety in mind “, It says in the affidavit of the UGC declared.
“The decision of the state to cancel examinations for the final year / semester and doctoral students without such examinations, encroaches on the legislative area of coordination and definition of the university standards, which only the parliament according to entry 66 of the list I of the appendix VH of the constitution. In this respect, the decision of the state government contradicts the guidelines of the UGC, which were issued to maintain the university standards, and is null and void from the start, ”the affidavit continues.
The affidavit added that despite the pandemic, the testing / assessment process was actually completed in online mode at six of the eight state universities / institutions in Delhi.
In any case, the UGC was aware of the difficulties faced by the teaching-learning process in issuing the April 4 guidelines and the July 6, 2020 revised guidelines.
The UGC said it had addressed concerns about the evolving situation of the pandemic by giving ample time through September 2020 to complete the exams for the final year / semester after following the mandatory protocols and followed procedures related to Covid-19. through sufficient flexibility of the universities / institutions to carry out such exams in online, offline (pen and paper) or mixed mode (online + offline); and by providing an exam through special opportunity for students who “for whatever reason” are unable to appear for the exams held by a university / institution by the end of September 2020.
The state governments have unilaterally decided to cancel the exams for the final year / semester and to violate doctoral students with “alternative assessment measures”, which violates the guidelines of the UGC, although it was necessary to hold such exams in the interests of the students.