Lakhs of students have been eagerly waiting for the final verdict of the Supreme Court on final year exams. According to news reports, the Supreme Court has postponed its hearing on University Grants Commission’s, UGC guidelines on final year exams. The hearing has been adjourned till August 10, 2020. The top court has also refused to pass any interim order related to final year exams. It has asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to stand clear on the issue. In the hearing, the apex court has asked to submit the affidavits by August 7 and the rejoinders by August 8, 2020. Therefore, to all the people who were wondering about final year exams, they have not been cancelled yet.
UGC said in its affidavit on July 30, 2020, that was filed in the apex court, that all the universities and institutions obligated to conduct terminal semester or final year exam by the end of September 2020. As per the reports, the Supreme Court had issued a notice about the fact that new UGC guidelines are not as per the MHA guidelines.
The notice mentioned that MHA guidelines were issued on July 20, therefore, UGC guidelines which were issued on July 6 cannot take them into account. It also said that the purpose of that guideline by MHA did not relate to the exams.
According to UGC’s new guidelines, if a student is not able to appear for the exams which will be conducted till September, 30, the student will be given another chance to appear in specially conducted exams at a later date. According to the advocate of students, these optional exams could prove to be problematic as they can create chaos for the students who could not appear in the main exams. The UGC had issued the guidelines for final year exams on April 22.
As per those guidelines, the universities were given time till August 30 to hold the final year exams. However, the universities could cancel their intermediate semester exams. As the Coronavirus cases in India continued to rise, the UGC was asked to revise the guidelines by MHRD. The time limit was then extended from August 30 to September 30. The UGC, however, mentioned that degrees cannot be granted to students without conducting the examination.
Maharashtra Government had cancelled the university exams including the final year exams. This decision was taken as the Coronavirus cases in Maharashtra continued to rise. This decision was challenged by the governor of Maharashtra. UGC also mentioned that the state government do not have the necessary authority to cancel the final year exams.
As the Supreme Court has refused to pass an interim order, a lot of people have been wondering about the meaning of an interim order. The interim order is an order issued by the court while litigation is still pending. Such order is generally issued by the court to ensure the status quo.