Supreme Court will be hearing the petition from at least 31 students regarding the UGC guidelines on conducting the final year examinations in universities today, reports Times of India. The petition seeks the court to quash the decision by the Commission that the conduct of the final year exam is a must for all the universities.

The petition will be heard by a bench headed by Ashok Bhushan. The report says that the students who have petitioned the court are from different universities and states who seek court’s interference on the Commission’s guidelines issued on July 6 stating that all universities must conduct the final year exam before September 30

The petition says that the conducting the exams amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic situation is not safe for the students, and should be cancelled in the interest of justice for the students. The petition asks that the result should be calculated based on internal assessment and previous performance and the mark sheet should be issued before July 31.

Earlier UGC had informed that at least 603 universities across India out of around 950 universities have either conducted the final year exam or plans on conducting before September 30. UGC had also said that the final year examination is a must as it contributes to “merit, lifelong credibility, wider global acceptability for admissions, scholarships, awards, placements, and better future prospects”.

Several states including Maharashtra, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana have used the Epidemic Diseases Act and Disaster Management Act to cancel the university exams in the state. UGC in an affidavit filed at Bombay High Court had said the epidemic disease act cannot be used to negate the “statutory provisions of another special Act such as The University Grants Commissioner Act nugatory”.

In two separate guidelines issued in April and July, the Commission had asked universities to conduct the final year and final semester examination. The Commission had given the freedom to universities to conduct these exams either offline/online in whichever way they deem as suitable.