SC Hearing on UGC Guidelines: The Supreme Court of India, today sought reply from the Central Government clarifying its stand on the UGC Guidelines that mandates compulsory holding of Final Year Exams 2020 for College and University Students. The apex court has asked the Union Home Ministry to clarify its stand on the cancellation of final year exams, which has been a recurring demand from students, parents, academicians and even a few state governments. In accordance with that, the court has also asked Maharashtra State Government to to submit its decision on cancellation of final year exams under the Disaster Management Act. The court has directed all parties to file their response before next hearing, which is scheduled to be held on 10th August 2020.
Hearing on Multiple Petition Challenging UGC Guidelines
Today – i.e. on 31st July 2020, the Supreme Court of India, was hearing multiple petitions filed by different stakeholders, including a group of 31 students from across India and even one filed by Maharashtra Cabinet Miniter Aditya Thackeray led Yuva Sena as well. In response to the apex court’s direction, the Central Government has informed the court that it will file a reply on the matter latest by Monday. On the same lines, the Central Government has also said that students should prepare for the exams meanwhile, as they are currently not cancelled and will be held in line with UGC’s exam guidelines by 30th September 2020.
Protests and Petition Against UGC Guidelines
Since its release earlier in July, the UGC’s revised guidelines for Final Year Exams 2020 have come under some serious criticism from several stakeholders. Students and parents have been protesting against holding of Final Year University Exams as it would put lakhs of students at risk of infection of the Coronavirus. With consistent rise in the COVID-19 case numbers across the country, concerns of students have grown manifolds with multiple students groups, including NSUI also joining the clamour for cancellation of Final Year Exams. On the other hand, several state governments, including Delhi, Maharashtra and West Bengal, have already announced cancellation of all university exams, including for final year students, at state government funded varsities. in the light of the pandemic. State Government’s fear that gathering of students for the Final Year Exams may lead to a much bigger and intense larger outbreak of COVID-19.
The final decision about holding of University and College Exams for Final Year students now rests with the Supreme Court, which would be hearing the case on 10th August 2020.