India’s federal government backs UGC at Supreme Court on final exam debate

India's federal government permits UGC to conduct university exams - We The World Magazine

India’s central government says to the Supreme court that it has given the Univerity Grants Commission (UGC) permission to mandate university examinations, as scheduled by September 31st of this year.

Several state governments in India have rallied against conducting final university examinations in the wake of a pandemic. UGC on the other hand has been pressing for conducting final university exams arguing exams are essential for the ‘credibility’ of students’ future pursuit.

In July, the Home Ministry gave a nod to UGC to order all the universities under its mandate to conduct final exams/semesters in all the universities in India, via offline, online, or mixed mode.

In ‘academic interest’

The Union Home Ministry told the Supreme court that following requests of the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the directions of the National Disaster Management Authority, the decision was taken, NDTV reports.

“Permission has been given to UGC to conduct exams. The decision has been taken in the academic interests of a large number of students. Pursuant to Human Resources Ministry request, directions have been issued under NDMA to conduct exams,” Union Home Ministry told the Supreme Court today.

UGC has earlier slammed Maharashtra and Delhi for demanding to pull off the final university examination orders in the wake of the pandmeic.

Canceling the final exams will “directly impact the standards of higher education in the country”, UGC told the apex court today.

A coalition of 30 students hailing from different parts of the country previously filed a petition to the Supreme court seeking a reverse order to conduct university final exams and demanded students be promoted to the next academic step based on the previous performance.

UGC in response said it would not entirely lift the order, but allow conducting exams via the online, offline, and mixed channels. The university-level exam controlled also implied that states do not have the power to cancel university exams.

NOTE: this post have been updated with more information. The headline has been corrected.