The University Grants Commission (UGC) has instructed the Supreme Court that the decision of the Delhi and Maharashtra governments to cancel the final term examination will “directly impact the standards of higher education in the country”.
The UGC filed an affidavit on Delhi and Maharashtra governments’ stand of not conducting the final term University exams. It stated that the UGC has taken the coverage decision to conduct final yr/ terminal semester examinations within the curiosity of scholars throughout the nation after duly contemplating the prevailing state of affairs of a pandemic.
“The UGC is the apex body for regulating the standards of higher education in the country, including the standards of examination,” it added.
The affidavit was filed on a batch of pleas difficult UGC’s July 6 round and in search of cancellation of final term examination in view of COVID-19 state of affairs.
Earlier, Delhi and Maharashtra governments’ had instructed the highest court docket that they’ve cancelled the examination within the states.
“The decision of state governments will directly impact the standards of higher education in the country, which the UGC is mandated to maintain,” the UGC submitted.
It added that in train of its powers beneath the UGC Act, the UGC first revealed the Guidelines dated April 29, 2020 which laid down a coverage backed by statute that every one greater training establishments should conduct final yr/ terminal semester examinations in order “to protect the academic and career interests of students” whereas, on the identical time, safeguarding their well being.
“Subsequently, the UGC issued the Revised Guidelines dated July 6, 2020 which re-emphasised the need to conduct terminal/ final examinations, be it in the form of course-ending terminal semester examination or final annual examination, because it is a crucial step in the academic career of a student. Therefore, the UGC has issued such guidelines 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 affidavit of the UGC acknowledged.
“The State’s decision to cancel final year/ terminal semester examinations and graduate students without such examinations, encroaches on the legislative field of coordinating and determining the standards of higher education that is exclusively reserved for Parliament under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VH of the Constitution. As such, the State Government’s decision is contrary to the UGC’s Guidelines which have been issued for maintaining the standards of higher education, and is void ab initio,” the affidavit additional acknowledged.
The affidavit additional added that the examination/ evaluation course of was really accomplished by on-line mode in six out of the eight State universities/establishments in Delhi, regardless of the pandemic.
In any occasion, the UGC was aware of the difficulties confronted within the teaching-learning course of whereas issuing the Guidelines of April four and the Revised Guidelines of July 6, 2020, it stated.
The UGC stated it has addressed the considerations relating to the evolving state of affairs of the pandemic by offering ample time until the top of September 2020 to conduct the final yr / terminal semester examinations after following the prescribed protocols and procedures relating to Covid-19; by giving ample flexibility to universities/ establishments to conduct such examinations in on-line, offline (pen and paper) or blended (on-line + offline) mode; and by offering for an examination by particular probability for college kids who “for whatsoever the reason(s) may be” are unable to seem for the examinations performed by a college/establishment by finish of September 2020.
The state governments have unilaterally chosen to cancel the final yr/terminal semester examinations and graduate college students utilizing “alternative assessment measures” in contravention of the UGC’s Guidelines, though it was required to maintain such examinations within the curiosity of the scholars, it stated.