Maharastra govt does not have power to cancel final year exams: UGC to Bombay HC

On an affidavit about the issue on Friday, the UGC told the Bombay High Court that Maharashtra government doesn’t have the power to cancel university exams for students.

The University Grants Commission recently submitted an affidavit to the Bombay High Court, in which it clearly mentioned that the Maharashtra government does not hold the power to cancel the university examinations for final year students this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The state government had decided to cancel the final year exams of all universities in Maharashtra and stated that it had the power to do so under the Epidemic Disease Act and Disaster Management Act.

The UGC has this response in reference to the petition filed by a retired teacher named Dhananjay Kulkarni, who challenged the state government’s decision to cancel the exams for all final year students this year.

The UGC had earlier decided to conduct the examinations for final year university students but some states like Maharashtra have decided to call off the exams due to the ongoing pandemic in the country.

UGC’s affidavit for conduction of exams

According to PTI reports, the UGC said that the Epidemic Disease Act and Disaster Management Act cannot come into play as they “render the statutory provisions of another special Act such as The University Grants Commissioner Act nugatory.”

According to the UGC, the guidelines to conduct the final year examinations were issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and they are issued to protect the academic career interest of students and safeguard their health at the same time.

UGC also said in the affidavit that the state government’s decision to cancel all final year exams for university students will directly affect the standards of higher education in the country.

Exams to be conducted by September: UGC

The UGC, which is the regulatory body for all universities in the country, has issued guidelines regarding the conduction on the examinations on two separate occasions. On both counts, it was mentioned that universities are required to conduct examinations for final year students.

“All universities/institutions in the country are obligated to conduct the final year examination by the end of September 2020,” the UGC guidelines issued on July 6 clearly stated.

States like Madhya Pradesh and Haryana had also decided to cancel their university examinations, just like Maharashtra. Recently, the Delhi government also announced that they will be cancelling all examinations in universities due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

 

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