- Apprentice Lawyer
The Supreme Court is hearing the challenge to the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines on the conduct of final year university exams amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah is hearing the matter, which involves a challenge to the UGC's July 6 guidelines mandating the conduct of exams by September 30.
Live updates of the hearing today feature on this page.
The lead petition in the matter has been been filed by 31 students across the country.
The other petitions in this case are by Yuvasena chief Aaditya Thackeray, and final year law students Yash Dubey and Krushna Waghmare.
In relation to this matter, the Governments of Maharashtra and Delhi have filed affidavits intimating the decisions of the Disaster Management authorities not to conduct the exams this year while the pandemic persists. The Maharashtra Government's stance also found support in an intervention plea moved by the Maharashtra Students Union.
In the last hearing on August 10, the Supreme Court had given UGC time to file its response to the affidavits filed by Maharashtra and Delhi. In response, the UGC has now opposed the stance taken by the governments of Maharashtra and Delhi.
In its reply, the regulatory body has stated that the State governments are taking contradictory stands with regard to starting the academic session and conduct of final year exams.
On July 30, the UGC had also informed the Supreme Court that it will not alter its July 6 guidelines mandating universities across India to conduct their final year examinations by September 2020.
Notable, in response to the Court's directions to make its stand clear, the Ministry of Home Affairs has also filed an affidavit telling the Supreme Court that it has granted permission for exams to be conducted amid the COVID-19 pandemic in view of the academic interests of a "large number of students."