The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Thursday filed an affidavit in Supreme Court stating that it shall not alter the 6 July guidelines, directing the universities to conduct final-year examinations by 30 September.
In the affidavit, UGC said that the guidelines to conduct the exams were issued to “protect the academic future of the students." The exams were necessary to evaluate the students on “specialized elective courses" they took in the final year, it added.
The decision to conduct exams was not take arbitrary, rather due deliberations were taken with experts, UGC said. It also sought directions for dismissal of the pending petitions, saying that the "final year exams are important as learning is a dynamic process where the only way to figure out what students know is by seeking evidence of their knowledge."
The apex court bench headed by justice Ashok Bhushan will hear the case through video conferencing next on 31 July.
On 28 July, the top court had sought a response from the UGC on a batch of petitions seeking cancellation of final-year examinations amid the covid-19 crisis. More than a dozen students from across India, who tested covid-19 positive, had challenged the directive. The petitioners informed the court that family members of many students have been tested positive for coronavirus, and urged not to conduct the exams amid uncertainties.
UGC submitted that the universities have been given sufficient time to conduct the exams and they have also been given sufficient flexibility in a blended mode of online and offline.
Students are not “forced’ to appear for examination at the cost of their health, as the guidelines have permitted the “universities/institutions to hold examinations as a special chance for those students who are unable to participate in the examinations that will be held by the end of September 2020," UGC clarified.