UGC Heading to Cancel Final Year University Exams, New Sessions starts from October

In the prevailing Covid-19 conditions, UGC is planning to cancel all the Final year University Exams and Higher Education institutions are likely to be dropped and the starting of Next Academic session i.e., 2020-21 may be pushed to October.  Earlier the final year examinations were decided to be conducted by University Grants Commission (UGC) as per the revised academic calendar in July 2020. Earlier, the Union Minister for Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ had asked the UGC to revise the academic calendar and the guidelines for conducting intermediate and final semester examinations.

Accordingly, a committee was formed by UGC headed by Haryana University vice-chancellor R. C. Kuhad for issuing revised guidelines for conducting exams. The report of the committee is expected to be published in a week’s time. The guiding principle for the alternate options to be used will be based on the health and safety of the students, teachers, and staff as the primary concern.

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The committee is thinking of canceling the final semester exams to be conducted in July 2020 in most universities as declared by the revised academic calendar. The students would be awarded marks based on their performance in the previous examinations and will also be provided with provisions for future improvement of their marks based on a physical examination after normalcy is established. 

The starting of new academic sessions is also being planned to be postponed till October as against the proposed time of August for already enrolled students and September for new admissions. All these new guidelines will be subjected to review on the basis of Covid-19 developments. 

Schools and Universities have remained closed in India after March 16. The National Lockdown was declared on March 24th, 2020 and yet no ease of restrictions regarding the opening of educational institutions is insight. Two committees were formed by UGC in April to decide on how to reduce academic loss and to save the future of students due to lockdown. One committee which was headed by Vice-chancellor R. C. Kuhad of Haryana University was tasked with finding means to conduct exams in universities during the lockdown and also for revisions in the academic calendar.

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The second committee headed by Vice-chancellor Nageshwar Rao of Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU) was meant to suggest methods to improve online education in India. Based on their recommendations it was decided to conduct final semester university exams in July, which could be either online or offline and decided duly as per the capacity of the university and also to give the students a fair opportunity. 

But in view of the increasing cases of Covid-19, many states have already canceled their final year university exams like Maharashtra, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh.

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