Pokhriyal said that the decision was taken to safeguard the principles of health, safety, fair and equal opportunity for students. At the same time, it is very crucial to ensure academic credibility, career opportunities and future progress of students globally. He applauded the initiatives of UGC for constantly making efforts to address various issues related to teaching, learning, examinations, academic calendar etc. in the difficult times of COVID-I9 pandemic.
In April 2020, the University Grants Commission constituted an Expert Committee to deliberate and make recommendations regarding the issues related to Examinations and Academic Calendar. Based on the Report of the Committee, the UGC had issued Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar on 29.04.2020. The Expert Committee was requested by the UGC to revisit the Guidelines and suggest options for examinations, admissions in the Universities/ Colleges and also for beginning of new academic session as the number of COVID cases is still increasing.
The Commission in its emergent meeting held on 06.07.2020 accepted the Report of the Committee and approved the ‘UGC Revised Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities in view of COVID-19 Pandemic’.
The highlights of the Guidelines are as under:
- In view of the emerging situation related to COVID-19 pandemic in India, it is important to safeguard the principles of health, safety, fair and equal opportunity for students. At the same time, it is very crucial to ensure academic credibility, career opportunities and future progress of students globally. Academic evaluation of students is very important milestone in any education system. The performance in examinations gives confidence and satisfaction to the students and is a reflection of competence, performance and credibility that is necessary for global acceptability.
- The terminal semester(s)/ final year(s) examinations be conducted by the universities/ institutions by the end of September, 2020 in offline (pen & paper)/ online/ blended (online + offline) mode.
- The students of terminal semester/ final year students having backlog should compulsorily be evaluated by conducting examinations in offline (pen & paper)/ online/ blended (online + offline) mode as per feasibility and suitability.
- In case a student of terminal semester/ final year is unable to appear in the examination conducted by the University for whatsoever the reason(s) may be, he/she may be given opportunity to appear in special examinations for such course(s)/ paper(s), which may be conducted by the university as and when feasible, so that the student is not put to any inconvenience/ disadvantage. The above provision shall be applicable only for the current academic session 2019-20 as a one-time measure.
- The guidelines regarding intermediate semester/ year examination, as notified on 29.04.2020 will remain unchanged.
- If need be, the relevant details pertaining to the Admissions and Academic Calendar in the universities and colleges shall be issued separately in place of those mentioned in the earlier guidelines issued on 29th April, 2020.