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Varsity exams: Supreme Court gives 48 hours to UGC to respond to pleas

The Supreme Court on Monday gave the University Grants Commission (UGC) 48 hours to respond to a series of petitions filed by students challenging the Commission’s July 6 circular directing varsities and colleges to complete the final exams by September 30 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

No stay

The court refused to stay the circular but granted an early hearing on July 31.

Appearing before a Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, senior advocate A.M. Singhvi said the circular gave the States no discretion to take a call on the exams even as cases were increasing every day. “This is unreal, forced and harsh. Many States are opposed,” he submitted.

Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava called for an early hearing this week as students were left in a state of uncertainty. The court had initially fixed the hearing on August 10.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the UGC was providing several alternatives for the students, including taking their exams online. “Students can also have a mix of both online and physical exams, wherein 10 students will sit in each room. There are also special exams for those who have been left out”, he stated.

There were a total of 818 universities across the country. Thirty-five of them were new and had not reached the stage of final exams, while 603 were set to conduct their exams by September 30, he said.

The court asked Mr. Mehta to file a detailed affidavit by Wednesday.

Shiv Sena's youth wing Yuva Sena has also challenged the July 6 circular. Maharashtra has already cancelled the final examinations for professional and non-professional courses.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 7:56:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/varsity-exams-sc-gives-48-hours-to-ugc-to-respond-to-pleas/article32201894.ece

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