The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Monday issued revised guidelines on examinations and academic calendar for the universities in view of COVID-19 and announced that the final year examinations in the universities will be held in September.
"The terminal semester(s)/final year(s) examinations be conducted by the universities/institutions by end of September 2020 in offline (pen & paper)/online/blended (online+ offline) mode," read the UGC guideline.
In April 2020, the Commission constituted an Expert Committee to deliberate and make recommendations regarding the issues related to examinations and academic calendar. Based on the Committee's report, the UGC issued guidelines on exams and academic calendar on April 29, 2020.
Later, the Expert Committee was requested by the UGC to revisit the guidelines and suggest options for examinations, admissions in the universities and colleges and also for the beginning of the new academic session as the number of COVID cases is still increasing.
The Commission in its meeting held today 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 Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in a letter to Union Higher Education Secretary, today permitted conduct of examinations by Universities and Institutions.
"The final Term Examinations are to be compulsorily conducted as per the UGC Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities; and as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) approved by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare," it said.
Those students who have backlog should compulsorily be evaluated by offline or online examinations as per "feasibility and suitability", UGC said.
If a final year student is unable to appear in the examination, the university must arrange special examination for the student, the regulator said.
"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 or 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 or disadvantage," UGC guideline underlined
Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said that intermediate semester students will be evaluated based on internal assessment (as per earlier issued guidelines).
Educational institutions across the country are closed since March when the lockdown was announced to curb the coronavirus spread in the country. Various examinations conducted by universities and higher education institutions have been suspended since then.