The UGC in a circular on 6 July had asked all universities in the country to finish the final-term examinations before September 30.
The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday asked the University Grants Commission (UGC) to file its reply by July 29 to the petitions challenging its July 6 circular on final-term exams.
The bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan was hearing the petitions filed by the final-year students from different universities across the country, challenging the UGC circular advising that final-year degree exams be conducted by the end of September 2020.
The bench said that replies be filed by the UGC and the Centre on the pleas by July 29 and posted the matter for hearing on July 31, reported PTI.
The UGC in a circular on 6 July had asked all universities in the country to finish the final-term examinations before September 30. Opposing the UGC circular, 31 final year students from different universities across the country approached the apex court. In their petitions, they have suggested that the results should be announced based on their internal assessment.
In their petitions, they have raised several issues, including the plight of lakhs of students in places like Bihar and Assam. Apart from the coronavirus outbreak, students from these states are battling with floods. Many states have already cancelled the final year examinations of state universities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that out of over 800 universities in the country, 209 have already completed the examinations and around 390 are in the process of conducting the examinations. Mehta said students can appear in the examinations online, offline or a mixture of both, reported PTI.
The bench has also asked for a consolidated reply be filed on the batch of petitions, and posted it for hearing on July 31.
The petitions by the students have come amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The resurgent virus has already forced many educational institutes to cancel or postpone several scheduled examinations.
There was severe criticism on social media over UGC circular, to conduct examination when the whole country is reeling under the COVID-19 pandemic.