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Today Education News India: No change in final exam stance, ‘special exam’ option given, next hearing on Aug 10

Today Education News India: As Supreme Court continued to hear the petitions against the UGC guidelines mandating final year exams be held across India, the next hearing is scheduled for August 10.

While UGC has given a ‘special exam’ option, no interim order was passed.

The Supreme Court heard a fresh batch of apeal challenging the UGC guidelines making it mandatory for final year exams to be held by September 30.

Today Education News India, UGC had told the apex court that it wouldn’t change its July 6 guidelines making final year exams compulsory.

But it had informed that it has allowed universities to conduct “special exams when feasible” for those students who are unable to appear for the final-year and final-semester exams by September end.

Supreme Court had heard four petitions against the UGC guidelines on Monday and the commission was asked to submit a reply by July 29.

Today Education News India: What is the Supreme Court hearing all about?

  • As per the revised exam guidelines provided by UGC on July 6 in accordance with the Home Ministry and HRD Ministry orders, final year university exams need to be held by September-end across India in online, offline or blended mode.
  • Today Education News India is The petitioners demanded that the final-year exams be cancelled because of the dangers posed by Covid-19 and that the results be declared based on the past performance of students.
  • UGC had earlier stated that out of the 818 universities in India, 603 had already held the exams or were planning to hold them in some mode.
  • In a conversation with India Today, UGC VP also said that without exams, no degrees could be awarded.

New UGC guidelines make it tougher for students, says advocate

  • At the hearing on Friday, Senior Advocate AM Singhvi appeared for the students.
  • He noted that India has 16 lakh Covid-19 cases today.
  • “The reply by UGC appears to be absolutely without application of mind,” he said.
  • He also brought the attention of the court to the difference in the two sets of guidelines issued by UGC in May and in July.
  • He also drew attention to the very first set of UGC guidelines from April 22.
  • He noted that there had been a 180-degree reversal of the UGC guidelines in July even though the number of Covid-19 cases had been sharply increasing.
  • He argued that the new guideline issued by UGC in July had made it even more difficult for students to appear for the exams, even though certain universities lack the infrastructure required to conduct exams online.
  • The advocate said that the notion of optional exams as promised by UGC would be very problematic and create chaos if someone were to appear at a later stage.

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Today Education News India: Real time problems in states

  • The advocate highlighted the real-time problems with conducting final-year exams as per UGC guidelines and said that most universities in West Bengal and Maharashtra has been converted into Covid-19 centres.
  • He noted that the July 6 UGC guidelines ignored the MHA guidelines for Covid-19 safety.
  • “Bar Council of India also cancelled. Heavens will not fall if exams are cancelled,” he said.
  • The Justice Ashok Bhushan-led SC bench then asked for the decision of the state disaster management committee on record.
  • The matter would next be heard on August 10. Affidavits need to be filed by August 7 and rejoinders by August 8.
  • The solicitor general said that that the stand of the MHA on the matter would be informed latest by Monday.
  • He added that students shouldn’t be under the impression that they shouldn’t prepare for the final-year exams.
  • They should continue to prepare, he said.

No interim order passed

  • Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava asked for an interim order to be passed in the light of him receiving calls from students who were stuck in the deadly floods in Bihar and Assam.
  • But the SG refused to pass any interim orders until the matter was taken up on August 10 again.

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