UGC Panel Recommends Academic Year To Commence From September 2020   

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With probable chances of a further extension of the lockdown in the country, the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) Committee on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities has recommended the admission process be started from August 1 to 31 and the academic session to start from September 2020.

The Academic Calendar process for the session 2020-21 is as follows:

  • Classes for second and third year students will begin from August 1, while the fresh batch for first semester will join classes from September 1.
  • Examinations will be conducted from January 1, 2021, till January 25.
  • Commencement of classes for even semester will begin from January 27 and dispersal will be on May 25.
  • The examinations will be conducted from May 26, 2021, with summer vacations from July 1 to July 30.
  • Commencement of the next academic session will be from September 2, 2021.
  • The Commission had formed two panels earlier in this regard who submitted their reports on April 24.
  • The first panel- a seven-member body, headed by Haryana Central University vice-chancellor R C Kuhad, recommended that the new academic year can be initiated in the month of September.
  • The panel also proposed that all the exams which have been delayed should be held in July.
  • The second panel, headed by Professor Nageshwar Rao, vice-chancellor, IGNOU, was instructed to look into how colleges and universities can conduct and promote online classes and issues surrounding it.
  • The exams of all the universities have been put on hold due to the lockdown imposed to combat the Covid-19 situation.The report further said a “common admission test may be conducted at national/ state level for admissions to undergraduate and post-graduate courses and research programmes in the universities and colleges.”
  • “The universities shall make admissions to the UG and PG programmes for the session 2020-21 latest by 31.08.2020.”
  • If necessary, “provisional admissions may be made and the last date of submission of relevant documents of qualifying examination will be 30.09.2020,” said the report.
  • The recommendations that are “advisory in nature” were made keeping in view the present scenario and the fact that educational institutions will required to follow social distancing for some more time even after the lockdown is lifted.
  • The expert committee has also suggested that “all universities follow a six-day week pattern to compensate the loss for the remaining session of 2019 -2020 and the new session 2020-2021.”
  • The requirement of minimum percentage of attendance for students/research scholars, the period of lockdown may be treated as “deemed to be attended” by all of them.
  • In view of the prevailing circumstances, the universities have been recommended to adopt appropriate strategies to facilitate the UG/ PG students pursuing projects/ dissertations.
  • The committee said, “The universities may conduct practical examinations and Viva- Voce through Skype or other meeting apps, and in case of intermediate semesters, the practical examinations may be conducted during the ensuing semesters.”
  • “In view of the importance of social distancing, universities may take necessary steps to ensure that students are given exposure to laboratory assignments/ practical experiments through virtual laboratories, sharing of the recorded visuals of laboratory work and digital resources available for the purpose,” the committee said.
  • It said that every institute should develop virtual classroom and video-conferencing facilities and all teaching staff should be trained with the use of the technology.
  • Also, universities should prepare e-content e-lab experiments and upload the same on their websites.

The universities shall strictly comply with all precautions and preventive measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has already announced that it will conduct pending board exams for only 29 subjects which are crucial for promotion and undergraduate admissions. (With inputs from News 18)

Also Read: SSC Exams in AP Only 2 Weeks After Lockdown Relaxation: Minister

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