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SC gives nod to conduct final year university exams, says ‘internal assessments will not suffice’

Examinations must be held this year but states can ask for the dates to be deferred beyond September 30: SC

SNS | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Friday said that the final year university examinations have to be conducted and students cannot be promoted on the basis of internal assessment.

However, the apex court maintained that the examinations must be held this year but states can ask for the dates to be deferred beyond September 30 if they wanted due to the coronavirus crisis.

“State cannot promote students without final year examinations,” the court said.

There were multiple petitions filed in the court seeking to defer the final year examinations due to the coronavirus crisis. Some Universities had even announced to cancel the final year examinations and promote the students on the basis on internal assessment.

But the Ministry of HRD had released guidelines asking the universities to not to cancel the examinations and conduct them in September.

Challenging the guidelines, many petitions were filed in the court seeking the cancellation of the examinations and allow the marking on basis of internal assessment.

The petitions argued that the students have completed five semesters and had a Cumulative Grade Point Average or CGPA, which could be the basis for results without final examinations.

But today, the Supreme Court ruled that “internal assessments will not suffice.”

The court said that states can approach UGC for relief if they are able to conduct examinations on time,” said the judges.

A three-judge panel of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah delivered the ruling through video-conferencing.

Appearing for UGC, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, said the decision was for the “benefit of students” as the universities have to start admissions to postgraduate courses.

On August 13, the Union Home Ministry had said in the Supreme Court that it would allow the university exams in the “academic interest” of students and also issued a notification to the University Grants Commission in this regard.

The decision was taken after requests by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the directions of the National Disaster Management Authority, MHA told the Supreme Court.

UGC had notified that the final term examinations in universities and institutions, which had been pending due to the novel Coronavirus, will now be conducted by the end of September, following safety guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Health.

According to the new guidelines, the final university exams can be held online and offline.

“The final Term Examinations are to be compulsorily conducted as per the UGC Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the universities,” said a statement issued by the Home Ministry.