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Exams must for promoting final year students, UGC free to extend deadline: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld UGC guidelines mandating final year exams. However, the court gave states the discretion to approach the University Grants Commission (UGC) for an extension of the deadline by which final year exams should be completed.

Nidhi Taneja Nidhi Taneja @nidhiindiatv
New Delhi Updated on: August 28, 2020 14:31 IST
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Exams must for promoting final year exams, UGC free to extend deadline: Supreme Court | LIVE

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld UGC guidelines mandating final year exams. However, the court gave states the discretion to approach the University Grants Commission (UGC) for an extension of the deadline by which final year exams should be completed. The order was pronounced by a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah.

The apex court bench said that the state governments will not be allwoed to promote students without holding final year university examinations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The bench also held that the decision taken by the state of Maharashtra to cancel exams amid the pandemic under the Disaster Management Act shall prevail. 

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED IN SC

10:55 AM: States, which are not inclined to hold final year exams by September 30, will have to make representation to UGC, says Supreme Court.

10:50 AM:  States/UTs cannot pass students without exams as directed by UGC. States/UTs given liberty to approach UGC to seek postponement of exam

10:52 AM: The decision of State Disaster Management Authority to postpone exams will prevail over UGC guidelines. However, SDMA cannot direct to pass students based on previous performance.

10:48 AM: The SC rules that States/UTs cannot promote final year students without examination as ordered by UGC.  States/Union Territories given liberty to approach the UGC to seek postponement of the exams in the light of #COVID19 pandemic situation.

10:47 AM: However the direction of the State Disaster Management Authority to pass the students on the basis of previous performance is beyond the scope of the Disaster Management Act. 

10:45 AM: The directions of State Disaster Management Authority for cancelling exams in that particular states will prevail over the UGC directions.

10:43 AM: The bench has refused the prayer to quash the UGC guidelines to hold the exams.

10:41 AM: Final order is now being pronounced by the Supreme Court

10:38 AM: Final order will be out in the next few minutes...

10:30 AM: The bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah to assemble shortly to pronounce the verdict.

10:00 AM: Supreme Court to announce a decision shortly

09:30 AM: The court had said that another issue is whether the commission can override state authorities and ask the universities to hold examinations on given dates.

08:39 AM: The Supreme Court had observed that the issue is if the state disaster management authority has decided that the situation is not conducive for holding exams, can they overrule the UGC.

It had said that another issue is whether the commission can override state authorities and ask the universities to hold examinations on given dates.

08:18 AM: The UGC had also told the top 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.

08:17 AM: Meanwhile, let's give you a background of the case to understand better. 

Earlier, 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 a decision to confer degrees without holding the examinations.

08:15 AM: SUPREME COURT TO PRONOUNCE FINAL VERDICT

The Supreme Court will pronounce its final verdict on pleas challenging the UGC guidelines and its decision to hold final year exams in September amid the coronavirus pandemic. The apex court is scheduled to make the judgment at 10:30 AM. 

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