The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Friday told the Bombay High Court that the Maharashtra government did not have power to cancel final year university exams and that the power is vested with the regulator. It further said that the state government’s decision to cancel final year exams would directly affect the standards of higher education in India.
The UGC filed an affidavit through its Education Officer Nikhil Kumar, in response to a PIL filed by a retired professor and Pune resident Dhananjay Raghunath Kulkarni, through advocate Uday Warunjikar, which stated that the UGC was the regulating authority in such matters, and the state was not empowered to decide the mode of assessment for final-year students, and hence the June 19 government resolution (GR) should be set aside and quashed.
On July 6, the UGC issued revised guidelines and decided not to recommend cancellation of the final semester (or final year) examination for graduating batches and has advised institutions to conduct these exams by the end of September. The regulator said these exams can be conducted in online, offline, or blended mode.
In support of its decision the UGC said that it had not made any distinction between professional and non professional courses. The affidavit stated, “The state government’s decision to defer the final year/ terminal semester examinations or to graduate students without holding examinations is a matter directly affecting the standards of higher education in the country.”
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