The University Grant Commission has issued important guidelines for Universities and colleges amid COVID-19 situation. The UGC constituted the committee on April 6 to deliberate and make recommendations regarding issues related to examinations and the academic calendar. The panel was headed by Professor RC Kuhad, former UGC member and VC Central University of Haryana.

The University Grants Commission on Wednesday, 29 April, issued fresh guidelines

UGC Academic Calendar, Exam Guidelines: 10 Important Points

  1. These UGC guidelines are advisory in nature and the universities may chart out its own plan of action taking into consideration the issues pertaining to COVID – 19 pandemic, and also by ensuring social distancing.
  1. The exams for terminal semester students will be held in the month of July and intermediate semester students will be graded based on internal assessment of the present and previous semester. In states where the COVID-19 situation has normalized, there will be exams in the month of July.
  1. College sessions will begin in August for current students and September for new ones.
  1. A COVID-19 cell will be constituted in every university which will be empowered to solve the issues of students related to academic calendar and examinations.
  1. Universities may adopt efficient and innovative modes of examinations by reducing the time from 3 hours to 2 hours and they may conduct the exams in offline or online mode, as per their ordinances or rules and regulations, scheme of examinations, observing the guidelines of “social distancing” and keeping in view the support system available with them and ensuring fair opportunity to all students.
  1. Period of lockdown may be treated as ‘deemed to be attended’ by all the students/ research scholars.
  1. An extension of six months period has been allowed to the M.Phil. or Ph.D. students and the universities may conduct the Ph.D. and M. Phil. Viva -Voce examinations through video conferencing using Google, Skype, Microsoft Technologies or any other reliable and mutually convenient technology.
  1. The universities may conduct the practical examinations and Viva-Voce Examinations through Skype or other meeting apps, and in case of intermediate semesters, the practical examinations may be conducted during the ensuing semesters.
  1. University may adopt alternative modes of admission process, if otherwise legally tenable.
  1. Educational institutions located at places where the Government (Centre/ State) have imposed restrictions on gathering of public, the institutions may plan accordingly.

The following calendar is suggested for the academic session 2020-2021:

S. No. Event Date
1 Admission Process 01.08.2020 to 31.08.2020
2 Commencement of Classes i. Students of 2nd/ 3rd year ii. Fresh batch

(First Semester/Year)

01.08.2020 01.09.2020
3 Conduct of Examinations 01.01.2021 to 25.01.2021
4 Commencement of Classes for Even Semester 27.01.2021
5 Dispersal of Classes 25.05.2021
6 Conduct of Examinations 26.05.2021 to 25.06.2021
7 Summer Vacations 01.07.2021 to 30.07.2021
8 Commencement of Next Academic Session 02.08.2021

                                                                                                                           source-TOI

In view of present scenario and future uncertainties, the higher education institutions are also given the flexibility to adopt/ adapt and implement these guidelines by making alterations/ additions/ modifications/ amendments to deal with particular situations in the best interest of students, educational institution and the entire education system.

The UGC suggested two academic calendars –for the 2019-2020 (the portion which remained incomplete due to the Novel Corona Virus outbreak and subsequent lockdown) and the new 2020-21.

For the old calendar year teaching learning process would continue via online/ distance learning/ social media/ emails/ video conferencing, among others till May  31, 2020. Activities like finalisation of dissertation/ project work/ internship reports/ e-labs/ completion of syllabus/ internal assessment/ assignment/ placement drive  will be conducted between June 1 and June 15, 2020. The examinations will be conducted between July 1 and July 31, 2020 and results will be declared on July 31, 2020 (for terminal) and August 14, 2020 (for intermediate).

The UGC advised that in case the situation does not appear to be normal in view of COVID-19, in order to maintain “social distancing”, safety and health of the students, universities can grade students based giving 50% marks “on the basis of the pattern of internal evaluation adopted by the universities and the remaining 50% marks can be awarded on the basis of performance in previous semester only (if available). The internal evaluation can be continuous evaluation, prelims, mid-semester, internal evaluation or whatever name is given for student progression.” In case of unavailability of previous semester or previous year marks, “100% evaluation may be done on the basis of internal assessment.” In such a situation student may also to be allowed to improve their grades in special exams for such subjects during next semester.

The commission clarified that the guidelines are advisory in nature and universities may chalk out their own plan taking into consideration issues pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sources

  1. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/colleges-to-reopen-from-september-for-new-students-and-in-august-for-current-students-says-university-grants-commission-2220587
  2. https://scroll.in/latest/960610/covid-19-new-college-academic-year-from-august-end-semester-exams-in-july-suggests-ugc
  3. https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2020/apr/29/covid-19-impact-ugc-issues-guidelines-for-new-academic-calender-university-exams-2137035.html
  4. https://twitter.com/HRDMinistry/status/1255519755634696194?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1255519758373531654&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fscroll.in%2Flatest%2F960610%2Fcovid-19-new-college-academic-year-from-august-end-semester-exams-in-july-suggests-ugc – ministry of HRD

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