SC refuses to cross interim order on pleas for keep of ultimate 12 months exams, asks MHA to clear stand

New Delhi, July 31

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to cross any interim order on a batch of petitions looking for cancellation of ultimate 12 months/semester examinations in September amid the COVID-19 pandemic and requested the Centre to clear the stand of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on the difficulty.

The UGC informed the highest court docket that no person ought to stay underneath the impression that for the reason that Supreme Court was analyzing this situation, the ultimate 12 months /semester examinations could be stayed.

A bench head by Justice Ashok Bhushan, which carried out the listening to via video conferencing, mentioned that it was not passing any orders on the difficulty and posted the issues for additional listening to on August 10.

The bench, additionally comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah, was knowledgeable by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, showing for the Centre and the UGC, that he would apprise the court docket about MHA’s stand on the difficulty.

Mehta mentioned they have been solely involved with last 12 months exams and of over 800 universities within the nation, 209 have accomplished the examinations.

He mentioned round 390 universities have been within the technique of conducting the examinations.

“Let nobody remain under the impression that since this court is examining this, it will be stayed. Let students continue with their studies,” Mehta mentioned.

To this, the bench mentioned: “We are not passing any such order.”

The bench additionally requested counsel for Maharashtra to put earlier than it the June 19 order of the state catastrophe administration committee handed on this regard.

“Let the decision (of state disaster management committee of Maharashtra) be brought on record,” the bench mentioned.

The prime court docket mentioned all affidavits be filed by August 7.

At the fag finish of the listening to, advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, showing for a number of the petitioners, raised the difficulty of the plight of scholars within the flood-affected areas of Assam and Bihar.

“This is not a case for interim order today,” the bench mentioned, including: “On August 10, we will hear it.”

On Thursday, the UGC justified its resolution directing all universities and establishments to carry last 12 months/semester examinations in September saying it was performed to guard the tutorial future of scholars throughout the nation.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) had filed a 50-page affidavit on a batch of petitions, together with the one filed by Shiv Sena’s youth wing ‘Yuva Sena’, which have challenged its tips issued on July 6 for holding the exams in September amidst the persisting COVID-19 pandemic.

It mentioned that in June this 12 months, contemplating the evolving state of affairs of the COVID-19 pandemic, it requested the skilled committee to revisit the April 29 tips, by which it had requested the Universities and Institutions to carry last 12 months examinations in July 2020.

The skilled committee submitted a report recommending that terminal semester/last 12 months examinations ought to be carried out by universities/ establishments by the top of September 2020 in offline (pen and paper)/on-line/ blended (on-line + offline) mode, the UGC mentioned.

It added that this report of the skilled committee was deliberated and accepted by the UGC in its emergent assembly held on July 6, for the reason that conduct of the ultimate 12 months/terminal examination is a time-sensitive situation.

The UGC mentioned it has issued such tips to “protect the academic future of students across the country which will be irreparably damaged if their final year/terminal semester examinations are not held, while also keeping in mind their health and safety”.

Assailing the selections of some states comparable to Maharashtra and Delhi of cancelling the ultimate 12 months examinations, the fee mentioned that such choices instantly have an effect on the requirements of upper schooling and will likely be an encroachment on the legislative area of coordinating and figuring out the requirements of upper schooling that’s completely reserved for Parliament underneath Schedule VII of the Constitution.

“Therefore, the decisions of certain State Governments (Maharashtra and Delhi) to either cancel the terminal semester/final year examinations for UG/PG students and/or to graduate such students and confer degrees without appearing for the final year/terminal semester examinations is plainly contrary to the UGC’s guidelines,” it mentioned.

The UGC justified the revised tips issued on July 6 and mentioned that it adequately takes under consideration the evolving state of affairs of the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of it supplied enough time until the top of September 2020 to conduct the ultimate 12 months/terminal semester examinations after following the prescribed protocols and procedures regarding COVID-19.

“It gives sufficient flexibility to universities/ institutions to conduct such examinations online, offline (pen and paper) or blended (online + offline) mode and provide for an examination through a special chance for students who “for whatsoever the reason(s) may be” are unable to seem for the examination carried out by a college/establishment by finish of September 2020,” the UGC mentioned.

It mentioned the colleges/establishments may conduct such particular examinations as and when possible in order that the scholars involved usually are not put to any inconvenience or drawback.

On July 27, the highest court docket had requested the UGC to file a consolidated reply to the batch of petitions difficult its revised tips to conduct last 12 months examinations by September 30 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. PTI

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