Supreme Court bench consisting of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah said today that states do not have the authority to cancel university exams. However, they can approach the UGC for extension of deadline.

This judgement was on a cluster of pleas challenging the UGC guidelines mandating the conduct the of final year/semester exams in universities before September 30.

Bar and Bench reports that the Court said states do not have the authority to promote students without holding exams. However, if states feel that the pandemic situation is not conducive to hold exams, they can approach the Commission for a deadline extension. States have the authority to alter the deadline for conducting the exam, said the bench.

Earlier the Court had heard arguments from states and UGC, and had reserved its judgment on August 18. Several states said that the COVID-19 makes the situation not favorable to conduct the exams. States argued that the UGC is not taking into account the welfare of the students.

States also said that UGC has the authority to ask universities to conduct exams but cannot keep a deadline for the same. States added that health comes under the purview of the state and they also have the right to make decisions based on Disaster Management Authority.

UGC and Centre argued that conducting the exam is in the best interest of the students and the Commission does not have the luxury to confer degrees without conducting an exam. UGC did concede that states can request for an extension of the September 30 deadline.