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The University Grants Commission(UGC) on Wednesday, April 29, said that college sessions will begin in August for current students and September for new ones. The admission process for the fresh batch of students will also be conducted in August.
In the wake of the ongoing lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020-21 academic session for students entering higher education this year will be delayed by one-and-a-half months.
According to the indicative academic calendar released by the UGC, while classes for first-year students can start by September 1, for intermediate year students, the classes can start on August 1.
The commission further said that the exams for final semester students will be conducted in July. However, universities and colleges are free to conduct their examination in either offline or online mode and reduce the time from three to two hours. The universities can also make changes to the suggested academic calender.
"Universities may adopt efficient and innovative modes of examinations by reducing the time from 3 to 2 hours. The universities may conduct Terminal/Intermediate Semester/Year examinations in offline/online mode, as per their Ordinances/Rules and Regulations, Scheme of Examinations, observing the guidelines of "social distancing" and keeping in view the support system available with them and ensuring the fair opportunity to all students," the commission said in its guidelines.
"Intermediate students will be graded based on an internal assessment of the present and previous semester. In states where the COVID-19 situation has normalised, there will be exams in the month of July. For terminal semester students, exams will be held in July," the UGC said.
The guidelines added that the period of lockdown may be treated as 'deemed to be attended' by all the students/research scholars. Furthermore, if the situation so demands, the universities can have summer vacations for 30 days in June.
"Universities may follow a six-day week pattern and devise proforma to record travel or stay a history of staff and students for the lockdown period. Extension of six months will be granted to MPhil, PhD students and viva-voice be conducted through video conference," it added.
The guidelines further said, "In situations where previous semester or previous year marks are not available, particularly in the first year of an annual pattern of examinations, 100 per cent evaluation may be done on the basis of internal assessments. If the student wishes to improve grades, he or she may appear in special exams for such subjects during next semester."
In addition, "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 and a COVID-19 cell in the UGC will be created for faster decision-making."
Universities and colleges across the country have been shut since March 16 in a bid to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Since March 24, the country has also been under a strict lockdown, which is slated to end on May 3.Also Read: COVID-19: Centre Extends Work From Home Norms For IT Firms, BPOs Till July 31
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