The Maharashtra government has informed the Supreme Court that the State Disaster Management Authority on July 13 had resolved to not conduct examinations in the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its own affidavit filed before the Court, UGC said that the guidelines to conduct the exams were issued to “protect the academic future of the students”. The exams were necessary to evaluate the students on “specialized elective courses” they took in the final year, it added.
UGC also submitted that the universities have been given sufficient time to conduct the exams and they have also been given enough flexibility on online and offline models.
A rejoinder to this reply filed by the petitioners through advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava submitted that the UGC had not considered the floods in Assam, Bihar and The Maharashtra government has informed the Supreme Court that the State Disaster Management Authority on July 13 had resolved to not conduct examinations in the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic. states, which had killed hundreds of people and badly affected more than 100 districts of these states. It is therefore impossible to conduct online or offline examinations in these places.
A group of students from Maharashtra challenged the order dated July 18 issued by the Maharashtra State Disaster Management Authority and the Government Resolution dated June 19 issued by the Government of Maharashtra.
The decision was taken after a majority of University Vice-Chancellors from across the state voted against conducting exams in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan on July 31 had asked Maharashtra government to put on record the resolution adopted by the State Disaster Management Committee with regard to holding final year exams across universities in the state.