A Pune-based professor, DR Kulkarni, has moved an intervention application in a batch of petitions challenging the UGC Guidelines which made it mandatory for universities to conduct their final year exams by September 30.
The Applicant has sought to intervene in support of the Commission, stating that the impugned UGC guidelines do not violate the fundamental rights of the students.
Four petitions were listed before the Top Court on Friday seeking quashing of the notification dated July 6 by Ministry of Human Resources Development and the subsequent UGC Guidelines mandating conduct of examinations for final year students by September 30.
The Petitioners had demanded the UGC to allow individual state governments to pass the final year students based on the candidate's past performance.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy & BR Gavai had therein directed the Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, to file a common reply for the Commission to the petitions by July 29.
The Applicant, represented by Senior Advocate Vinay Navare and Advocate Abhay Anturkar, has contended that examinations cannot be postponed sine die. It is submitted,
"the interest of the final year students have to be borne in mind while deciding the end date…postponing the examinations for an undetermined period of time would be unreasonable and arbitrary."
Further it is contended that the Petitioners' argument that conducting the examination shall create a threat to the life of the students, staff and other members of the society is "completely baseless".
"the Petitioner has failed to take into consideration that vide the Revised Guidelines itself the Respondent No. 1 UGC has given the concerned Universities to conduct the examination either in offline (pen + paper) mode, or online mode, or hybrid mode (offline + online). Thus, the Universities may take into consideration the situation prevalent in its area and decide to choose one of the aforementioned modes to conduct the examination…"
He has also submitted that the Guidelines are statutorily "sound" as they draw strength from Sections 12 (Functions of the Commission) read with 26 (Power to make regulations) of the UGC Act.