The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released ‘advisory’ guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for Universities amid COVID-19 pandemic and nation-wide lockdown. A COVID-19 cell will be created in the UGC and in every university for faster decision making and problem-solving.
UGC has recommended that the intermediate semester students be graded on internal assessment of the present semester and marks previous semesters if the situation is not favorable for conducting examinations. It specified that the students should be graded 50% marks on the basis of internal evaluation and 50% on the basis of performance in the previous semester. In the case of first-year students, 100% marks will be based on continuous internal evaluation.
In states where the situation due to COVID-19 is normalized, examinations should be held for intermediate semester students in the month of July. For terminal semester students, examinations are to be held in the month of July. Universities are also recommended to reduce the duration from 3 hours to 2 hours.
UGC has also recommended an extension of six months to be given to M.Phil and Ph.D. students.
A grievance redressal mechanism should also be arranged in varsities for students who want to improve their grades. The UGC will also establish a Help Line for monitoring student grievances.
The academic calendar that UGC suggests for universities to adopt has scheduled the conduct of examinations for the terminal semester students from 1st July 2020 till 15th July 2020, and for the intermediate semester students from 16th July 2020 till 31st July 2020. The evaluation and declaration of results must be done by 14th August 2020. The new academic session may commence from 1st August 2020 for old students and 1st September 2020 for newly admitted students.
The UGC has strongly asked universities to maintain social distancing and ensure that the academic needs of students are met through online lectures and visual laboratories.
Two expert committees were set up to make recommendations to the UGC regarding examinations and academic calendar of the year 2020-21. The expert committee was headed by Prof. R. C. Kuhad, Former Member of UGC and Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Haryana. Another committee to recommend on online teaching and learning was headed by the Vice-Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University Prof. Nageshwar Rao.
Image Credit: Amar Ujala