UGC issues guidelines on examination & academic calendar for universities

 

UGC approves new-age degree courses

 

UGC issues guidelines on examination & academic due to COVID-19 Lock-down in India

 

University Grants Commission (UGC), the regulator for Higher Education, yesterday released a suggestive academic calendar and guidelines for the new semester. University and college students across the country were anxiously waiting for a decision on semester examination and the beginning of the new academic year. The UGC guidelines have been prepared keeping in mind the protocols that need to be followed even after the lockdown lifts to ensure maximum safety.

The new academic session for old students will commence from August 1 while for the new students it will be September 1, 2020. The much-anticipated admissions for the 2020-21 session will be conducted between August 1 to August 31, 2020. The pending terminal and intermediate exams are to be conducted between July and August 2020.

These are the new guidelines on examinations and academic calendar in view of COVID-19 pandemic for the universities and colleges issued by the University Grants Commission on Wednesday. It has also been recommended that universities may adopt alternative and simplified modes and methods of examinations to complete the process in a shorter period of time like reducing the time from 3 hours to 2 hours as well offer the flexibility of both online and offline exams. The guidelines are suggestive in nature and universities can adjust as per their requirement and prevailing situation.

The UGC issued the guidelines based on its two expert committees’ recommendations. The guidelines also stated that universities may follow a six-day week pattern, develop virtual classroom and video conferencing facility and all teaching staff should be trained with the use of the technology, prepare e-content/ e-lab experiments and upload on their websites, and faculty should be adequately trained for the use of ICT and online teaching tools so that they complete about 25% of the syllabus through online teaching.

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 a particular situation(s) in the best interest of students, educational institution and the entire education system.

 

The UGC suggested two academic calendars –for 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, the 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).

As per the 2020-21 academic session, the admissions for the fresh batch will happen in the month of August. These students will start their classes in September. However, for the old students, the classes will commence on August 1, 2020.

 

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 the previous semester or previous year marks, “100% evaluation may be done on the basis of internal assessment.” In such a situation students may also be allowed to improve their grades in special exams for such subjects during next semester.

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

The Academic Calendar is suggestive. The universities may adopt/adapt it after making a comprehensive assessment of their level of preparedness, residential status of the students, status of COVID-19 pandemic spread in their city/region/state, and other factors.

 

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

 

Some of the important guidelines issued by the UGC

1. Universities may follow a 6-day week pattern.

2. 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.

3. The link provided by MHRD for virtual laboratories to facilitate the students of science/engineering/ technology streams may also be suitable for such purposes.

4. Develop virtual classroom and video conferencing facility and all teaching staff should be trained with the use of the technology.

5. Universities should prepare e-content/e-lab experiments and upload them on their websites.

6. Strengthen the mechanism of mentor-mentee counseling.

7. Universities may devise a proforma to record the Travel/ Stay history of the staff and students for the period when they were away from the university due to lockdown.
8. Faculty should be adequately trained for the use of ICT and online teaching tools so that they complete about 25% of the syllabus through online teaching and 75% syllabus through face to face teaching.