More than a dozen of students across the country have petitioned the Supreme Court to quash the UGC guidelines issued on 6 July. In the UGC guidelines, all universities/colleges were directed to conduct final year examinations by September 30, 2020. The petitioners, including one COVID-19 positive student, have stated that there are many final year students who are either themselves or members of their family is COVID-19 positive.
“Forcing such students to appear in the final year examinations till 30 September 2020 is an open violation of the right to life conferred under Article 21,” he argues. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs, through a notification on 6 July 2020, allowed universities and institutes to conduct examinations and ordered universities to conduct final year exams compulsory as per UGC guidelines and standard operating procedure.
Following the notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the UGC has issued revised guidelines for the examination of the final semester students, directing the universities to conduct the exam in offline (pen and paper) / online/mixed (offline + online) mode. Filed through Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, the petition claimed that the mark sheet/degree is usually awarded to students by 31 July, although in the present case, the examinations will end by 30 September.
Here’s the tweet from advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava
Today I have filed a Petition in Supreme Court on behalf of 31 Students-
-To quash UGC decision
-To Cancel Final Year Exams
-To Assess internally or basis Past Performance
-To Declare UG/PG final Results by 31 July
-To ensure that No student misses Job Opportunity/ Admission
— Alakh Alok Srivastava (@advocate_alakh) July 19, 2020
The petition states, “Due to the late award of mark sheets/degrees, the petitioners and many other final year students will be deprived of valuable opportunities to get admission in higher courses and/or get jobs, which would be in violation of Article 14. ” The petition argued that final year students should also be placed on par with students of CBSE, ICSE, ISC, NIOS etc., who cancelled their 10th / 12th board examinations due to COVID-19 and students’ Declared results based on “past performance / internal evaluation”.
In the petition, he has asked the UGC to direct the completion of internal assessment and directed to award the result/degree to the successful final year students on or before 31 July 2020.
The following complaints are included in the petition-
- The decision taken by the respondents to conduct the final year examination is completely arbitrary and cynical. Other stakeholders such as doctors, teachers, students, universities and colleges etc. have also not been consulted. The entire origins of this type of decision are flawed and incorrect. –
- Responders have ignored the plight of millions of students from Bihar, Assam and North Eastern states, who are currently facing frequent floods.
- Railways are not moving and only a few selected trains are running. In such a situation, a student, who has to visit the examination centre through public transport, will face a lot of difficulty. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the whole of India is facing difficulties in getting rent / PG accommodation, as the landlords are not ready to give the accommodation.
- COVID-19 Crisis has reduced financial opportunities and affected students’ parents are facing extreme financial crisis. In such a situation, it is completely unjust, unfair and unexpected for them to bear the burden of transportation, housing and medical treatment of the children to be present in the examination. The Bombay High Court recently issued a notice to the Government of Maharashtra, University Grants Commission and Bar Council of India on a PIL filed by a law student for cancellation of final year examinations due to COVID-19.