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.
Link of the UGC letter:-https://t.co/phX7fvJMPE
— UGC INDIA (@ugc_india) April 30, 2020
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.
BREAKING: Big announcement by #UGC
1) New Uni/ College session for freshers from September 1st
2) Old students to begin session in August
3) Universities to open for 6 days/week
4) 6 Months extension to PHD students
5) Pending Semester exams in July only in non containment zones pic.twitter.com/1ImqTfrocL
— Ankit Tyagi (@Ankit_Tyagi01) April 29, 2020
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.
|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|
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.