Supreme Court poser on university final exam deadline
The Supreme Court on Monday sought the response of the University Grants Commission and the government on a batch of petitions seeking the cancellation of their directives to conduct final-semester exams by September-end.
The petitioners, individual students and youth organisations, have complained that such a directive would put students at severe health risk because of the novel coronavirus pandemic that was still experiencing an exponential growth.
The UGC and the Centre would have to respond to the court’s notice by July 31. The bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah, however, refused to stay the July 6 circulars of the Union home ministry and the UGC ordering the completion of final-semester exams at universities by September 30.
Several individual students and youth organisation have filed separate petitions seeking either the postponement of the exams or an alternative mode of assessment, as has been done by the CBSE and CISCE school boards.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for some of the students, said the decision mandating the completion of final-year exams amid the pandemic was “unrealistic” and “remarkable”.
“States have been given no discretion. This is done without any law or act. The guidelines are unrealistic and harsh. Many states have objected to this,” Singhvi told the court.