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Supreme Court upholds UGC decision on final year exams: Key takeaways from the verdict

While students cannot be promoted without holding examinations, the Supreme Court said that states can fix a new deadline in consultation with the University Grants Commission (UGC) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

August 28, 2020 / 11:17 AM IST
Supreme Court of India

Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court on August 28 upheld the University Grants Commission (UGC)'s July 6 circular stating that final year examinations must be conducted by September 30.

The apex court ruled that states must hold examinations to promote students.

The court also said that states can postpone examinations under the Disaster Management Act, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they can consult the UGC to fix fresh dates.

The verdict was on petitions challenging the decision of UGC asking universities and colleges to conduct the final year examinations by September 30 amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The UGC had told the apex top court that its July 6 directive, asking universities and colleges to conduct final year exams by September 30, is "not a diktat" but states cannot take decision to confer degrees without holding the examinations.

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Here are the key takeaways from the Supreme Court's verdict:

> The Supreme Court did not quash the UGC guidelines to hold examinations by September 30.

> However, the court said that the State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs)’s decision to postpone exams will prevail over UGC guidelines, when applicable.

> Yet, the SDMAs cannot direct students to be promoted based on previous performance, the apex court said.

> The top court held that states and Union Territories cannot pass students without exams as directed by the UGC.

> The court ruled that the states and UTs have the liberty to approach the UGC to seek postponement of exams beyond September 30.

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first published: Aug 28, 2020 11:17 am