Final-year college exams must be conducted by 30 September as directed by the University Grants Commission (UGC), the Supreme Court ruled on Friday, asking states to approach the UGC to defer them if the pandemic situation, so warrants. Though state-level directives under disaster management laws will prevail over those of UGC in conducting exams, states cannot promote students without exams, the court said.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said in cases where a state decides not to conduct examinations due to the current situation, “We grant them the liberty to approach the UGC to seek an extension of the deadline.” More than 31 students from various universities across 13 states and one Union territory had challenged UGC’s 6 July circular.
The bench, also comprising Justices R. Subhash Reddy and B.R. Gavai, said the decision of any state disaster management authority not to hold the exams in the state will prevail. This means the Maharashtra government’s decision not to hold final-year exams stands. However, the state will need to approach UGC for a fresh date to hold these exams.
“The state or the state disaster management authority has no jurisdiction under Disaster Management Act, 2005 to take a decision for promoting the students Based on the previous performance or internal assessment,” the SC said.