UGC Guidelines And University Exams: 5 Points
The University Grants Commission, or UGC, is expected to release revised guidelines for final year exams and a revised academic calendar for universities.
The University Grants Commission, or UGC, is expected to release a new academic calendar and revised guidelines regarding the conduct of final year exams soon, following the direction from the Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” asking UGC to “revisit” the academic calendar and guidelines released in April. The foundation for revisited guidelines will be “health and safety students, teachers, and staff”, Mr. Pokhriyal said on social media.
Since the announcement, there has been a lot of confusion regarding the conduct of final year exams and the new academic year. As an official announcement, or the revised guidelines, are awaited, here is what we know so far:
1. Several reports previously mentioned that an expert committee suggested scrapping the final year exams and beginning the new academic session from October. A recent circular by the Ministry of Human Resource Development has directed institutes to allow teachers, researchers, non-teaching staff to work from home till July 31.
2. Since the April guidelines, several states, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Haryana have cancelled all higher education exams and decided to promote students on the basis of previous performances. Recently, Gujrat Government has also decided to withdraw its decision to conduct final year examinations, within hours of announcing it. Rajasthan Government today cancelled UG, PG exams in all state universities.
3. In the previous guidelines, UGC allowed universities to conduct final year examinations using online or offline mode in July if the COVID-19 situation improves. Delhi University will conduct Open Book Exam for final semester students from July 10 but Aligarh Muslim University, or AMU, also a central university, has postponed final year open book exams scheduled in July.
4. A panel of experts, chaired by Haryana University vice-chancellor R C Kuhad, has been asked to revisit the UGC guidelines and come up with alternative options, according to reports.
5. Students, concerned about health and safety, have been on protest demanding the cancellation of board, university, and entrance exams. The National Testing Agency, or NTA, has recently postponed JEE Main 2020, NEET 2020, and JEE Advanced 2020 exams.