The UGC (University Grants Commission) had issued a set of guidelines, earlier in July, for conducting the exams of the final year students. The verdict on this is expected by August 10. The Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organization (MFUCTO), and a professors’ association related to Savitribai Phule Pune University with a statewide reach, have now filed an intervention application in the Supreme Court.
They have pleaded that the exam guidelines should be provided by an authorized body and they have also questioned the mandatory nature of the guidelines. A writ petition was filed by the Yuva Sena in the Supreme Court, earlier, challenging the decision of the Center to hold final year exams. The petition has also challenged the top-down approach of UGC in doling out guidelines to hold the said exams.
The General Secretary of MFUCTO, SP Lawande, said that the state had given an option to students who wanted to appear for the tests, but the UGC has provided guidelines to conduct the examination. He said that the rules cannot be compulsory. Therefore, they have filed an appeal in which they have argued that only the desired authority can pronounce the final orders over the examination.
The fresh plea filed by the president of MFUCTO supports the petition of Yuva Sena. The petition demands the guidelines and office memorandum dated July 6 should be quashed.
The application also states that various universities have defied the directives of UGC over the years. This has led to a decline in qualified teachers, which has brought to the notice of the commission by the letter of the applicant dated July 13, 2019, but to no avail.
Concerns were also raised by professors over various faculty posts being vacant in the state. They added that conducting examinations will require increased manpower.
A city-based academician, Dhananjay Kulkarni, had filed public interest litigation in Bombay High Court, opposing the decision of the state to cancel exams. He feels that professors should take academic decisions. He said that the intervention filed goes against the teaching profession as professors should support the process of holding examinations.