Professors in Maharashtra Move Supreme Court Over UGC Exam Guidelines

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Pune: Opposing the University Grants Commission’s (UGC’s) mandatory guidelines, Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation (MFUCTO) filed an intervention application in the Supreme Court. The association is related to Savitribai Phule Pune University and has a statewide reach.

The association pleaded that examination guidelines should be provided by an authorised body and questioned the mandatory nature of the guidelines given by the UGC on July 6. UGC, in its guidelines, set September 30 as deadline for completion of all examinations either by online/offline/hybrid mode.

Earlier, a writ petition was filed by Yuva Sena in the apex court challenging the Centre’s call to hold final-year examinations and the higher education regulatory body’s top-down approach in doling out guidelines to hold exams for final year students.

MFUCTO general secretary SP Lawande said, “While the state had given an option to students who wanted to appear for the tests, UGC provided guidelines to conduct the examination. However, the rules cannot be compulsory. We have, therefore, filed an appeal, arguing that only the desired authority can pronounce final orders over examination.”

The association’s fresh plea backs Yuva Sena’s petition, which also demanded the guidelines and office memorandum dated July 6 be quashed.

Highlighting the rising cases of COVID-19 and coronavirus-related deaths in Maharashtra, the application stressed on the challenges the pandemic poses on conducting exams for final year students.

“Using its powers under the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016, and Disaster Management Act, 2005, the state government had appointed a committee to look into the matter on the basis of the report issued by the government resolution dated June 19, 2020, cancelling semester and final-year examinations,” the plea read.

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