UGC's Revised Guidelines Released, Home Ministry Allows Final Year Exams
UGC guidelines: Ministry of Home Affairs, in a letter to Union Higher Education Secretary, today permitted conduct of examinations by universities and institutions.
Ministry of Home Affairs, in a letter to Union Higher Education Secretary, today permitted conduct of examinations by universities and institutions. A statement released by the Home Ministry said the final term examinations are to be compulsorily conducted as per the UGC guidelines on examinations and academic calendar for the universities and also as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) approved by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The University Grants Commission (UGC), the higher education regulator, released fresh guidelines today, saying the end-of-term exams can be held in September.
The UGC guidelines said the terminal semester or final year examinations be conducted by the universities by the end of September, 2020 in offline online or blended (online + offline) mode.
The students of terminal semester or final year students having backlog should compulsorily be evaluated by conducting examinations in offline or online or blended (online + offline) mode as per feasibility and suitability, guidelines said.
In case a student of terminal semester or final year is unable to appear in the examination, according to the UGC guidelines, the candidates may be given opportunity to appear in special examinations for such courses or papers, which may be conducted by the university as and when feasible, so that the student is not put to any inconvenience or disadvantage
The UGC guidelines released in April regarding intermediate semester or year examinations will remain unchanged, the revised guidelines said.
Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said the UGC has revisited its earlier guidelines related to university examinations in view of the safety, career progression and placements of the students and their larger interests, and revised the guidelines after consulting Home and Health ministries.
The UGC has revisited its earlier guidelines related to university examinations.— Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (@DrRPNishank) July 6, 2020
In view of the safety, career progression and placements of the students and their larger interests, after consulting @HMOIndia and @MoHFW_INDIA, it has been decided that pic.twitter.com/evKTYPwnIa
Regarding the academic calendar, the revised guidelines said 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 April 29.
The Delhi University Teachers’ Association or DUTA, while responding to the guidelines, said it is appalled at the manner in which the government “has cleared the way for forcing a sham of an exam on students”.
“An exam that has no sanctity and is discriminatory towards a large section of students is clearly being pushed with no other motive than to promote big business in education” it added.
The HRD Minister had in last month asked the UGC to revisit the guidelines issued earlier for intermediate and terminal semester examination, and the academic calendar in view of the increasing COVID-19 cases in the country.
Following this, on June 24, news agency PTI had reported that the revised guidelines are expected to be announced by the UGC within a week's time.
Reports had quoted officials as saying that exams for final year students in universities and higher education institutions which are scheduled to be held in July are likely to be cancelled in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, and the commencement of the new session is likely to be deferred to October.
So far, several states, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Haryana cancelled all higher education exams and decided to promote students on the basis of previous performances.
Recently, the Gujarat government reversed its decision to conduct final year examinations, within hours of announcing it.
The Rajasthan government has cancelled under-graduate and post-graduate exams in all state universities.
Students, concerned about health and safety, have been protesting 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.
Schools and colleges have been closed across the country March amid the coronavirus pandemic. As per the guidelines released by the Home Ministry on June 29 for the COVID-19 unlock2, schools, colleges and educational institutions will remain closed till July 31.