A view of the Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court said Thursday that universities are free to hold exams for the semester or final exams in order to encourage undergraduate and graduate students.

A bench of Judges Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah said, “The University Grants Commission (UGC) has left it at the discretion of universities to conduct exams for 1st and 2nd year students. If they want to take the exam, we can’t stop them. This is not a reason for judicial review. “

The court heard a PIL filed by a student Ayush Yesudas who alleged that under UGC guidelines dated April 27, 2020, 1st and 2nd year undergraduate / postgraduate course students were only on an internal basis Assessment and not assessed on the basis of an internal assessment investigation. That decision was made in light of the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country.

The bank said this issue was addressed by its Aug. 14 ruling, in which it upheld the July 6 UGC policy requiring exams for senior students on UG / PG courses. At the same time, universities were given the freedom to hold exams to promote students in recent years.

In the UGC guidelines of April 27, it says: “For middle semester / year students, universities can conduct exams after they have made a comprehensive assessment of their readiness level, student housing status and the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in different regions / States and other factors. In case the situation regarding COVID-19 does not seem normal, the grading of students based on the pattern could consist of 50% of the grades in order to maintain the “social distancing”, safety and health of the students passed by the universities internal assessments and the remaining 50% can only be awarded based on performance in the previous semester (if available). “

The petitioner quoted this as saying: “The COVID-19 situation is still not normal. Holding exams under these circumstances is a violation of UGC guidelines. “

The bank rejected the petition, saying, “This court is not expected to oversee the audit of every college. Holding the exam does not violate UGC guidelines. “

The UGC’s decision to make final exams compulsory in accordance with its July 6 ruling has been challenged in the Supreme Court by students and teachers’ associations at the university, as well as political bodies such as Yuva Sena. According to UGC policy, final exams should be taken online, offline, or a combination of both methods before September 30th.

In light of the COVID-19 situation, the Delhi and Maharashtra Governments issued orders canceling exams for senior year students and instructing their assessment through internal assessment. The Tribunal upheld the UGC’s order to regulate examinations for final year students. Delhi and Maharashtra’s decision to cancel the exams has been confirmed. However, the court ruled that they cannot give instructions on how to promote students who fall under the jurisdiction of UGC. The Court allowed states to write to the UGC to request a further extension of the review period in view of the COVID-19 situation in their respective areas.

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UGC publishes checklist for open and distance learning programs, see here

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