UCG v/s State Government on Final Year Exam

  • When the world meets Covid-19, students in India and the State Governments are fighting in the Supreme Court against the July 6 notification issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) that universities will conduct final year exams until the end of September Force.

final year exam


  • A batch of petitions in the Supreme Court involving 31 students from universities across the country challenged the notification.
  • While students opposed the move citing health risks, some state governments also refused to conduct the test due to the epidemic. However, the UGC insists that its guidelines are mandatory in nature and that this degree cannot be awarded without conducting an examination.
  • As the Supreme Court reserved its decision on Tuesday in the case, how can the UGC rely on the Constitution to follow its notification and how can state governments oppose this action.


state goverment appeals YGC to cancel exams



  • The seriousness of the UGC submission is that universities across the country are required to follow its guidelines and state governments cannot cancel final year exams.
  • To this extent, it stated in court that Admit Card 66 was on the Union list. This entry addresses problems with instructions or research and the determination of coordination and standards in organizations for scientific and technological institutions. ‘
  • The 7th Schedule of the Union is one in every of the three lists within Constitution. The state list and therefore the joint list are the opposite two.
  • According to Article 246, while the Central Government has special powers to legislate on subjects within the Central List, the State Government may legislate on matters with in the State List.



  • For a joint list, the Central and State Governments may enforce the laws listed below. But if there are differences between the laws, the central law overturns the state law.The law of the UGC Act 1956 recognizes entry letter 66 within the Union list. Section 26 of this Act allows the UGC to formulate rules.   Subsequently, in July, these guidelines were revised and universities were required to conduct final year examinations.
  • The UGC argues that universities across the country are committed to accepting its guidelines supported the assorted regulations it’s established.
  • “The rules framed by the UGC have very broad powers over all universities, whether they are traditional or public,” the apex court said.
  • The UGC stated that the decisions taken by the state governments to cancel the examinations last year would therefore encroach on the power of Parliament under Entry 66.
  • During Tuesday’s hearing, the UGC also told the court that degrees could not be given to students without exams, so exams could be delayed or postponed, but they could not be canceled.





  • July 13, the Maharashtra government informed the Supreme Court that the State Disaster Management Authority had decided not to conduct tests in the state amid the epidemic.
  • In view of Covid-19, on July 11, the UT Deputy Chief Minister directed the Delhi government to cancel all written and offline semester examinations, including the final year examinations, for “all Delhi State Universities”.
  • The government has also taken care of accessibility issues in conducting online classes.  During the hearing on Tuesday, the court was told that the West Bengal government was also committed to its constitutional duty to protect the health of its citizens.
  • This indicates that the districts of South Bengal were affected due to the Amphan storm and hence many people including students were evacuated. Therefore, the state submitted that physical exams are not possible, that both online exams, officers and students do not have digital infrastructure. The Odisha government has also relied on Covid’s growing cases that it is not possible to conduct this test.




  • In addition, state governments also submitted that the July 6 order was not a legal document, but an executive order.
  • The Governments of Maharashtra and West Bengal have also cited Section 12 of the UGC Act.
  • Section 12 of the Act states that it is the duty of the Commission to take steps to promote university education, but the UGC states that it should do so “in consultation with universities or related institutions.”
  • State governments now argue that the UGC did not consult any state governments or health or medical professionals to understand the practical ground reality before issuing orders.
  • Students who challenged the UGC order also submitted a similar, believing that failure to contact universities or other relevant institutions would make the order illegal.
  • Section 22 of the UGC Act states that “the right to award or confer a degree is exercised only by the University”. He refuted the UGC’s contention that degrees could not be awarded to students who failed the exam. S.C. to take into account the authenticity of the order.
  • The Supreme Court is now considering several such legal questions in this case.
  • For example, in the case submitted by the Government of Maharashtra, the court will decide whether the Maharashtra State Disaster Management Authority decision can overturn the UGC’s guidelines.
  • It should also note the nature of the July notification – whether it is mandatory – and whether proper guidelines were followed before issuing the guidelines.




  • The court will also consider the dispute of students who alleged that the UGC order in violation of the epidemic violated their fundamental rights under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
  • Maharashtra, Delhi, Odisha and West Bengal on Tuesday opposed the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines in the Supreme Court, asking universities to conduct final year examinations by September 30.
  • During the hearing before a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, the four states came forward with arguments ranging from questioning the authority of the UGC from advisers and the Commission’s failure to consider the Covid-19 epidemic.
  • The demonstrations took place in a petition filed by 31 students against the UGC circular dated July 6.
  • The petitioners contended that the examination guidelines for educational institutions among infectious diseases did not comply with the regulations of the Union Home Ministry.



  • The tribunal reserved its decision on Tuesday after hearing the matter, which lasted for four hours with the central government and the states where the UGC has the power to direct the college to conduct tests in the wake of the epidemic.
  • The Center, on its part, defended the guidelines and felt that the UGC had the authority to issue them.
  • Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the guidelines include the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) approved by the Ministry of Health to ensure that the health of students is not compromised.




  • Advocate General Kishore Dutta of West Bengal said that a single player cannot be treated in different states as each state has certain characteristics.
  • In addition, the UGC stated that the current situation could not be considered normal.
  • According to him, the current scenario allows to call the state because it is related to health issues. He said it was the duty of the state to ensure public health.
  • Orissa Advocate General, AK Parijat, argued in similar ways. He pointed out two letters written by the Odisha Health Minister to the Union Minister, after which there was no response.
  • During the trial, teachers also had the opportunity to present their opinion. While one group from Maharashtra supported the UGC’s stance, another group from West Bengal opposed it.