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UGC won’t alter decision on final-year exams, tells SC the move will protect academic future

In a 50-page affidavit, the UGC says it has taken into account the evolving situation of Covid-19 and sufficient time has been given to varsities to conduct the exams.

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New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) Thursday refused to alter its 6 July notification mandating universities to conduct final-year exams by September end, saying the decision has been taken to “protect the academic future of students”.

In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, the commission claimed that a student’s performance in examinations, especially in final year/ terminal semester, gives her or him confidence.

A bench, led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, will Friday consider UGC’s affidavit, submitted in response to a batch of petitions filed against the commission’s guidelines to hold final exams amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The lead petition is by 31 students from universities across the country. They have said that the UGC’s decision will compel students to appear in exams during the pandemic, posing risk to their health.

The UGC guidelines, released with the 6 July notification, allow universities to conduct “special exams when feasible” for students who cannot appear for the term-end exams in September.

According to the commission, the decision of some states, including Maharashtra and Delhi, to “either cancel” undergraduate or post-graduate exams or confer degrees to students without appearing for the final year/terminal examinations is “contrary” to its guidelines.

“All universities or institutions are obligated to conduct a terminal semester or final year exam by the end of September 2020,” UGC told the top court.

Also read: A second shot at boards, no MPhil, a blow to rote-learning — what Modi govt’s NEP brings

‘Sufficient time given to universities to conduct exams’

In its 50-page affidavit, the UGC states that its guidelines were formed taking into account the evolving situation of Covid-19.

“The final year or the last two semesters of a course/program consist of primarily Discipline Specific Elective (DSE) courses, Generic Elective (GE) courses and Skill Enhancement (SEC) to provide value-based and/or skill-based knowledge,” read the affidavit.

It is necessary to test the final-year students on “specialised elective courses” studied by them during the terminal year, said the UGC, explaining the rationale behind conducting the exams.

Sufficient time, it said, was given to universities to conduct the exams. The body also said varsities have been given enough flexibility – the exams can be conducted via online, offline or hybrid mode.

‘Not holding exams will affect standards of higher education’

Students who are unable to appear in the exam will be given a chance to take another specially-conducted test at a later date so that they do not face any “inconvenience or disadvantage”.

The petitioners’ contention that students will be forced to appear for the exams at the cost of their health was also rejected. UGC guidelines provide a special chance for those who are unable to participate in the September exams, the body said.

UGC also criticised states for not abiding by its guidelines to hold the exams.

“Such a decision directly affects the standards of higher education in the country and will be an encroachment on the legislative field of coordinating and determining the standards of higher education reserved exclusively for the parliament under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VII of the Constitution of India,” its affidavit submitted.

Also read: Former UGC chairman says move on final-year exams unfortunate, online mode will be biased


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  1. Yes I have left some books in my room . We r student who studying in another state. How could we go to attend exam . And my college is too far from my state. We have to go by flight 3 hrs then by train 7 hrs, very high risk. And there is no train running in this pandemic situation.
    Okay if we get catch Corona on the journey then let them entry to appear the exm with other students in same room. Who can take risk of our life.

  2. If ugc conduct exams for final year students. What abot 1 st 2 nd 3rd year students. U please conduct exams for all. Please cancell exams for all students.

  3. I dont know if their point is valid that students final exam performance gives their confidence, pandemic starts from final semester itself, no proper class has been taken and there were no conducive environment to focus on their studies.. i am not saying conducting exams is bad, but i thought educationist will adapt according to the situation and find another way to asess the students performance, knowledge, skills etc. Are we still limited to pen and paper examination.. can it wait till the covid19 cases declination to a negligible degree where the students are not pressured to their learning and assessment with burden. Obviously students will encourage no exams movement all the time.. but under this kind of pressure, who would perform better than their previous semester? Let alone final examination gives their confidence.. UGC approach to this problem is unintellectual and bias!

  4. This was very fine and good thing but one thing if any student affected by covid and he can lost his life who will be responsible for that and who can see there family

  5. Did you think about foreigner student who are living out side of india, when, how, why they should be back cause of exams, if the indian students degree will effect at this pandemic moment we are ready this situation to collect our degree without examination, if indian government isn’t think about indian students(future and son of india),we love our health more than our exams. Think about universities and their facilities to conduct the examinations. That is funny a counrty which is weak about sanatizing of cities today claim to conduct exam by every day 50000 new cases and 700 deaths.
    Some one replay me please from UGC.
    Your are not giving free marks the marks will collect from our previous semester examination and internal exams. We are not beggening we just try to understand you UGC. Please make your decision as per logic and consider the situation of india about 8lkh students not as per your feeling🙏.

  6. If other states students are like to appear for exam then they may have to face a corentine
    Or not.. And the transport facility will start or not….

    • It is not possible because some students from hostel have gone to there home by this covid19 and how can there come from outside town and atten the exams it is possible and there is pandemic and some of them left there books in hostel and it is not possible and where there is a transport facilities and where there will come so please kindly thing about their situation from family side and can get there marks according to there internals assignment

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