HC says GO cancelling arrear exams not acceptable

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Chennai, Apr 7 (PTI) The Madras High Court on Wednesday took objection to a Tamil Nadu government order (GO) of August 2020 cancelling arrear exams of college students in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and held the GO was not acceptable to it.

The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, which made the observation while passing further interim orders on the PILs from advocate Ramkumar Adityan and former Anna University VC E Balagurusamy, directed the state government and the UGC to arrive at a solution that can be taken by way of an examination or some other method.

'The State and the UGC should put their heads together to suggest any ameliorate measures that may be taken by way of an exam or some other method.' 'There is no doubt that lakhs of students, who had thought that they had cleared the particular course after writing the final semester exam may have to be held back because they did not clear previous papers.' 'At the same time, unqualified persons cannot be certified to have qualified to pursue professional courses or even higher studies,' the judges said.

Earlier, Advocate-General Vijay Narayan told the judges that the exemption had been granted only to arts and science courses since the regulatory bodies of other professional courses like medicine, engineering and law, refused their sanction.

The court also pointed out the UGC guidelines, which do not provide such a scenario. 'The State government appears to have cancelled arrear exams in violation of UGC guidelines and they are absolutely unacceptable,' the bench said.

The court then adjourned the matter till April 15 after directing the UGC and the State government to jointly work and find out a solution that would serve the interest of students without compromising on the sanctity of the system, notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic. PTI CORR SA BN BN