UG/PG final exams compulsory: Supreme Court; no promotion without exams

The Supreme Court of India today (Friday, August 28, 2020) delivered its judgement on UG/ PG final semester/ year exams.

The Supreme Court refused to cancel the final exams in the wake of corona pandemic as sought by students and parents.

The SC ruled that States/ UTs cannot promote final year students without exams.

The SC upheld the UGC guidelines making final year exams mandatory for all final year students in all universities.

However, the Supreme Court allowed States/ UTs to approach the UGC to seek postponement of exams in the light of corona pandemic situation. As per UGC directives, the final year exams should be held in September 2020 but States/ UTs can seek postponement but the final decision whether to postpone exams or not lies with UGC.

The Supreme Court was pronouncing its verdict on August 28 on the pleas challenging the decision of the University Grants Commission (UGC) circular on July 6, 2020 asking universities and colleges to conduct final year exams by September 30 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The verdict was pronounced by a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan. The bench had reserved its verdict on the issue on August 18.

The UGC had told the top court that its July 6 directive, asking universities and colleges to conduct final year exams by September 30 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is "not a diktat" but states cannot take the decision to confer degrees without holding the examinations.

It had told the court that the directive is for the "benefit of students" as the universities have to start admissions to postgraduate courses and state authorities cannot override the UGC's guideline. Yuva Sena, the youth wing of Shiv Sena, is one of the petitioners in the apex court and has questioned the UGC's directive to hold examinations during the novel coronavirus pandemic.