The Supreme Court is scheduled to conduct hearing on the plea from 31 students against the UGC guidelines to conduct the final year examinations in all the universities. In the previous hearing, UGC had submitted its response and the Court had said that it will conduct the next hearing on August 10.

Further Read: SC asks Centre if states can override UGC guidelines; matter adjourned for August 14

In its response, the Commission had said “Students should continue to prepare for the examinations. Students should not be under the impression that examinations will be stayed because of the Supreme Court hearing.”

The UGC had filed a reply to the court in which it had said that the final year exams are compulsory and need to be conducted before September 30 deadline. The Commission had clarified that students who are not able to participate in the exams will be given another chance to appear for the exam at an appropriate time.

Abhishek Sanghvi, who was appearing for one of the petitioners, argued that the decision to conduct the exam amid the pandemic was arbitrary. He pointed out that some of the universities do have adequate IT infrastructure and it is not feasible for them to conduct the exam.

Sanghvi also said that “heavens will not fall if exams are cancelled” and cited the Disaster Management Act that allows state governments to take decisions in this regard.

Several states have taken a decision to cancel the university exams. The Commission in its response had also said that the decision by several states including Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab and Haryana to cancel the university exams and to grade the students based on past performance and internal assessment is contrary to the UGC guidelines.

The petition to cancel the exam has been submitted by 31 students from different states and universities. The petition said that 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