The Supreme Court of India on Friday issued a very important stricture – if it may be called so – clearly saying that State Governments and universities cannot promote students without holding examinations. The apex court has also said the decision of the Disaster Management Authority or the State Governments that students should be promoted without appearing in the final year/terminal semester examination, is not within the domain of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. On the contrary, it has said the University Grants Commission's guideline for conducting the final year university examination before September 30 is correct. A three-member bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah on Friday said that the State Disaster Management Authority and the State Governments have no jurisdiction whatsoever to take a decision that students of final year/terminal examination should be promoted on the basis of assessment and internal assessment of the earlier years, and that the UGC guidelines of July 6 had specifically directed the universities and colleges to conduct the final year/terminal semester examination. It is important to note that the three-judge bench has put on record a very clear and important observation that the revised UGC guidelines issued on July 6 cannot be termed as violative of Article 14 of the Constitution on the ground that one date, September 30, has been fixed irrespective of the conditions prevailing in individual states. Rather, as the Supreme Court has rightly observed, the date for completion of examination as fixed throughout the country will only help in maintaining uniformity in the academic calendar across the country. Interestingly however, there is a significant rider in the Supreme Court order. It has noted that State Governments, under powers vested in the Disaster Management Act, can however order postponement of examinations in view of the pandemic. But for this, the State Government concerned should consult the UGC and get a clearance from it for fixing fresh dates for final examination in that State. The apex court order, being largely in the overall interest of the future of millions of students, as also of the country's overall education scenario, must be welcomed by all.