UGC to be added as respondent in plea against Maharashtra govt. decision on university exams

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the State government to reply to the plea stating that it has no power to decide and announce the mode of assessment of marks for final year students. It also directed that the University Grants Commission (UGC) be made a party in the case.

A Division Bench of Justices A.A. Sayed and M.S. Karnik was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Dhananjay Kulkarni (61), retired teacher.

The PIL challenged the June 19 government resolution (GR), which cancelled final year exams and decided that degrees would be issued based on students’ performance in the previous semesters. Under the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, only subject experts and the Chancellor have jurisdiction over such a decision, it said. Therefore, the State government has no control over taking the decision about the exam schedule.

The PIL said, “Under the said Act, the UGC on April 27 issued a direction to all universities to conduct examinations. Soon thererafter, a student organisation in Mumbai made a representation to the minister in-charge of Higher Education, who postponed the exams and later cancelled.”

According to the GR issued on June 19, there are 7,34,516 students of non-professional courses who have been admitted for the last year and 2,89,937 students are admitted for professional courses in the State.

The PIL said, “If the State is not going to conduct exams for non-professional courses on grounds of COVID-19, then there is no reason to conduct exams of professional courses.”

It also said if the All India Council for Technical Education, Medical Council of India, Bar Council of India and National Council for Teachers Education are asking students to appear for last year exams, then there is no justification for cancellation of final year examination of students admitted in non-professional courses.

The PIL also said the GR does not clearly mention when exams will be conducted and when the academic calendar will be over. It therefore urged the court to quash and set aside the GR.

The court has asked for the UGC to be added as a respondent in the matter and posted it for further hearing on July 17.

(With PTI inputs)

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 2:25:10 PM |

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