NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its order on a batch of pleas challenging a circular of the University Grants Commission (UGC) mandating to conduct the final term exams in all affiliated universities by the end of September.
A bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan reserved the judgement and said it will also decide whether the states will have power under the Disaster Management Act to defer final examination till the COVID-19 situation normalises.
During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the UGC, told the court that there was a political somersault by the Maharashtra government in this matter.
He said that on May 6, the State of Maharashtra had constituted a state-level committee by the Minister of Higher and Technical Education. Their own committee recommended that the exams can be conducted, Mehta said.
“One thing I must emphasise is that the deadline was given for the benefit of the students. It’s not a diktat. All universities have to start admissions of postgraduate courses The country is working. These students are 20/21 years old. Do you really think they are not stepping out?” the Solicitor General contended.
He argued that the UGC’s directions are meant to ensure that the degrees of the students are provided to them at the lastest, it is for their interest only.
Mehta referred to the standard operating procedure vetted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and said the SOP talks about thermal scanning, masks, social distancing, and this was approved so as to ensure that students’ health was fine.