Updated on: 29-4-2020
The new academic session for freshers may begin in universities from September and for already enrolled students in August in the wake of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak in the country, the University Grants Commission (UGC) told universities on Wednesday.
“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 commission clarified that the guidelines are advisory in nature and varsities may chalk out their own plan taking into consideration issues pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It added that 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. A COVID-19 cell in the UGC will be created for faster decision making.
These UGC guidelines were issued in presence of Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ in New Delhi. Secretary, Higher Education, MHRD Amit Khare and senior officials of the Ministry and UGC were present on the occasion.
Universities may adopt efficient and innovative modes of examinations by reducing the time from 3 hours to 2 hours. 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 a fair opportunity to all students, it added.
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, grading of the students could be composite of 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, it added.