SC Decision on UGC Guidelines on Conduct of Examinations
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Judiciary; Education
- The Supreme Court ruled that the states are empowered under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (DM Act) to override University Grants Commission (UGC) exam guidelines in order to protect human lives amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
- It held that universities and other institutions of higher education will have to conduct the final-year exams and cannot promote students on the basis of internal assessment or other criteria.
- In case of a disaster, the priority of all authorities under the DM Act is to immediately combat the disaster and contain it to save human life.
- In future, if any State found it impossible to conduct the exams by the deadline given by UGC and wanted to postpone them, it could apply to the UGC.
- The States and universities cannot dismiss UGC guidelines as being merely advisory.
- SC rejected the argument that compelling attendance by holding physical examination is a violation of the ‘Right to Life’ under Article 21.