Praneeth k. V. University Grants Commission (UGC),2020
Students to appear for physical exams when the COVID-19 pandemic is intensifying exposes
them to serious health risks, affecting their right to life.
The uniform direction issued by the UGC without taking into account local situations will put
several students to grave prejudice, as several areas are containment zones and local lockdown is
in prevalence in many regions. Multiple cases were combined under single hearing which
included cases of 11 students. Option of online exams is also not viable given the stark digital
divide, and the lack of uniform access to the internet across the spectrum. Another crucial issue
in the case was whether State Governments possess autonomy in the matter.
The apex court bench clearly stated that ” government will not be allowed to promote students
without conducting final year university exams”. The bench consisted of Justices R Subhash
Reddy, MR Shah and Justice Ashok Bhushan.
Supreme Court refused the prayer to quash the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines
to conduct the final year examination. However, the Court gave states the discretion to approach
the University Grants Commission (UGC) for an extension of the deadline by which, final year
exams should be completed.