It appears like students will have to wait for a few more days. The Supreme Court of India today heard the pleas against the guidelines of University Grants Commission (UGC) making it mandatory for final year exams to be held by September 30, during the pandemic. After several hearings on the matter, the final decision was expected today, August 14, 2020. However, it has been adjourned to August 18. Students were repeatedly told to continue their preparations for the exams, since no final decision has been taken yet. But they are reluctant to appear in the university exams during a pandemic. In this article, find out the highlights of today’s SC hearing on UGC guidelines 2020.

Highlights From SC Hearing on August 14

  • Lead Counsel, Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, advocate for the students, opened the arguments today. He argued that the number of COVID-19 positive cases have been increasing exponentially. He argued that conducting exams during this time could impact the health of students.
  • He pointed out that a large section of students would have to travel long distances to the exam centres, which would increase the health risk.
  • Senior Counsel Shyam Divan, who is representing Yuva Sena, said, “Students are a homogenous class, invigilators are a homogenous class, invigilators are a homogenous class, people living with students are a homogeneous class.”
  • Divan further argued that when the guidelines are advisory, they should be tailor-made based on the local needs.
  • He questioned UGC’s decision on conducting exams by September 30, as there is no mention of health concerns or improvement of the situation.
  • Moreover, he stated that many hostels had been turned into quarantine centres as educational institutions were required to be closed till July 31 as per the Unlock 2 guidelines. According to Unlock 3, the date was shifted to August 31.
  • Divan argued on the fact that when the confirmed cases of COVID-19 were in thousands, exams across the nation were postponed. And now when the cases have crossed lakhs, how can the government allow to conduct the examinations.
  • He even added anxiety and stress; students are facing over uncertainty around exams.
  • SC will conduct the next hearing on the matter on August 18.

Over the past hearings, UGC maintained its stance that exams must be conducted for degrees to be given and that the state governments could not cancel the exams. The commission said that cancelling exams would hamper the standards of higher education.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 14, 2020 02:42 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website