Kerjiwal and manish sisodia
Kerjiwal and manish sisodia
Litigation News

[BREAKING] Delhi Government tells Supreme Court that Final Year exams stand cancelled seeing the 'reality of digital divide'

ByDebayan Roy

In response to a petition challenging UGC guidelines mandating the conduct of final year exams by universities before September 30, Government of Delhi has informed the Supreme Court that Delhi State Universities exams have been cancelled.

In a latest decision, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi has directed "all Delhi State Universities to cancel all written online and offline semester examinations including final year exams."

The Supreme Court had directed. all parties to file their affidavits by August 7, and for rejoinders to be filed a day after that.

Delhi government in its affidavit states that on July 11, a decision was taken by the Deputy Chief Minister/Higher and Technical Education Minister of the National Capital Territory of Delhi that all online-offline exams of universities under the state including final year exams would be cancelled in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases.

However, the affidavit notes that some vice-chancellors of certain universities were in favour of wrapping up at least the final semester exams.

However, after perusing all details including the latest UGC directive to complete final year exams by September 2020, Delhi government decided to stick to its July 11 decision and continue with not holding the exams.

The views of vice chancellors alongwith MHRD/UGC guidelines were placed before Deputy Chief Minister/Higher and Technical Education Minister of the National Capital Territory of Delhi and he has reiterated his decision dated 11.07.2020 that all Delhi State Universities to cancel all written online and offline semester examinations including final year examinations. Universities were also advised to devise alternative assessment measures to promote students of intermediary semesters and grant degrees to students of final semesters.
reads the affidavit

Delhi Government has further stated that "in Delhi's State universities, best efforts were made to conduct online classes, but the reality of our digital divide is that online classes are not accessible equally by all".

"During this extremely tough period, regular physical classes got completely interrupted. The students had no access to study material and the college libraries were closed, although getting access through online mode in such peculiar circumstances, the students did not get the kind of preparation needed to attempt a full-fledged examination," reads the plea.

As per present status, GGSIP University has around 27,000 final year students and are now devising mechanism for assessment to award marks to final year students and this is also the case for Delhi Pharmaceutical Science and Research University (DPSRU).

The other six universities have completed the final year Examination by online mode.

A total of 31 students from different universities across India had approached the Supreme Court to quash the latest University Grants Commission (UGC) circular directing universities to wrap up final year examinations by September 30.

Before Delhi Government, Maharashtra Government on August 7 informed the Supreme Court that the State Disaster Management Authority on July 13 had resolved to not conduct examinations in the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was taken after a majority of University Vice-Chancellors from across the state voted against conducting exams in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

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