Supreme Court verdict on UGC: The Supreme Court is going to hear the petition filed by 31 students challenging the recent University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines today. The plea challenges the recent guidelines that made it mandatory for Universities to conduct the final year exams using any– pen and paper, online or a combination of both by September. In the last hearing that was held in July, the UGC submitted that they are not willing to change their decision.
Here are 5 things that happened in the last SC hearing:
- The UGC submitted a 50-page affidavit responding to a different petition including the one filed by Shiv Sena’s youth wing ‘Yuva Sena. The affidavit said that the UGC will not change its decision as it was based on the assessment by an expert panel. The academic body said that an expert committee (which comprised vice-chancellors of technical universities and a representative of industry) was formed to access the situation and make a decision on the final year exams.
- The UGC also added that decision was taken to ‘protect the academic future of students across the country which will be irreparably damaged if their final year/terminal semester examinations are not held, while also keeping in mind their health and safety.
- The UGC also informed that the decision to cancel the exams taken by states such as Delhi and Maharashtra will be considered as contradicting the guidelines and will be detrimental to the standards of higher education.
- The affidavit clarified that no student will be forced to give the exams at the cost of their health as the guidelines allow the varsities to hold special exams for students who are unable to participate in exams that will be held by September 2020.
- A rejoinder to the UGC reply was filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava that said that the UGC had failed to take into account the worsening Covid 19 situation in the country and ‘non-availability of free air/rail/bus/other transport movements in many parts of the country’. He also questioned the ‘special exams’ and said that one of the 31 petitioners to the apex court was Covid-19 patient and he feared losing job/admission opportunities.