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States cannot decide on awarding degrees without conducting examinations: UGC told SC

The India Print 2020-08-18 22:27:05

New Delhi. The University Grants Commission ( UGC ) on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that its July 6 directive was "not a decree", asking universities and colleges to hold final-year examinations by September 30. Also, the UGC also said that the state cannot decide to award degrees without conducting examinations. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the UGC, told a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan that the Commission's directive was in the "interest of the students" as universities have to start enrollment for postgraduate (PG) courses and in the state. Officers cannot disregard the UGC guidelines. Justice R.R. s. Reddy and Justice M.R. Shah is also included. 

The apex court said that the issue is that if the state disaster management authority has decided that the situation is not conducive for conducting examinations, can they defy the UGC. The bench reserved judgment on several petitions related to it, in which the UGC directive on July 6 has been questioned. The bench said that it is another issue whether the commission can defy the state officials and ask the universities to conduct examinations on the given date. In the hearing held through video conference, Mehta told the bench that the states may demand to extend the stipulated time, but they cannot take a decision on granting degrees without examinations.

"Time limit was given in the interest of the students," Mehta told the bench. This is not a decree. All universities have to start enrollment for PIEs courses. ”He said that Kovid-19 is a national disaster and state officials cannot ignore the UGC. Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, appearing on behalf of some petitioners, told the bench that the UGC's July 6 directive made it necessary for the universities to conduct the examinations by 30 September and this decision was taken without proper deliberation . 

A lawyer appearing for a state said that not conducting the final year exams would not weaken the criteria and even reputed institutes like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) have said that they will give degrees without conducting examinations. A lawyer referred to the Maharashtra decision and alleged that the issue had been politicized. However, the bench reserved the verdict and asked all the parties to file a written note in brief within three days.