Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities

By Shubham Diwate

“Future may have many uncertainties but difficult times demand quick appropriate decisions.”

01 May, 2020

GOOD NEWS for students! In the interest of students UGC (University Grants Commission) issued a Guideline for the greater good of the students in order to protect them from loss of academics. The Expert committee had interacted with Vice Chancellors of the Universities, Principals of Colleges and academia through various electronic means such as E-mail, Phone, WhatsApp, Online Meetings to formulate valuable recommendations which later developed as guidelines by the UGC.

In the present circumstances, the major concerns are as follows:

  1. Ensuring the health, safety and security of the students, faculty and staff and also to continue academic activities.
  2. Conducting the examinations and declaration of results.
  3. Facilitating the students to participate in further admissions, placement processes, research and training etc.
  4. Charting out a plan for the next academic session.

UGC suggested some modes of E-learning:

MHRD and the UGC have been emphasizing to continue with the teaching-learning process using online modes such as

  • Google Classroom
  • Google Hangout
  • WebEx Meeting
  • You Tube Streaming
  • OERs
  • SWAYAM Platform
  • SWAYAMPRABHA (available on Doordarshan (Free dish) and Dish TV), etc.

Highlights of the Guidelines are as under:

  • Guidelines are advisory in nature.
  • University may chart out its own plan of action taking into consideration the issues pertaining to COVID – 19 Pandemic.
  • Ensure Social Distancing.

Guidelines issued include the following:

  • MCQ/OMR based examinations, Open Book Examinations, Open Choices; Assignment/presentation based assignments etc.
  • Exams may be conducted in offline/online mode.
  • The norms of social distancing and ensure fair opportunity to all students.
  • Grading of the students could be composite of 50% marks on the basis of internal marks and the remaining 50% may be awarded on the basis of marks of the previous semesters, if available.
  • Scheme of “carry forward” (for subjects in which the student has failed) will be allowed for the current academic year.
  • Universities may also adopt appropriate strategies.
  • Conduct viva vice and practical examinations via Skype or other meeting apps.
  • A helpline for monitoring student grievances.
  • The Academic Calendar is suggestive in nature. The universities may adopt / adapt it after making a comprehensive assessment of their level of preparedness, residential status of the students, and status of COVID-19 pandemic spread in their city / region / state and other factors:
  Start of Even Semester    01.01.2020
  Suspension of Classes    16.03.2020
  Continuation of Teaching-Learning through various modes such as Online Learning / Distance Learning / Social Media (WhatsApp / YouTube) / E-mails / Video Conferencing / Mobile Apps / SWAYAMPRABHA Channels on DTH etc.        16.03.2020 to 31.05.2020
  Finalisation of Dissertation/ Project Work/ Internship Reports/ E-labs/ Completion of Syllabus/ Internal Assessment/ Assignment/ Students Placement Drive etc.      01.06.2020 to 15.06.2020
  Summer Vacations ( If situation so demands, the universities can have Summer Vacations for 30 days from 01-06-2020 to 30-06-2020. In that case the teaching-learning through various modes can be held up to 15-05-2020 and subsequently Finalization of Dissertation etc. may be completed from 16-05-2020 to 31-05-2020.)          16.06.2020 to 30.06.2020
  Conduct of Examinations: (i) Terminal Semester/ Year (ii) Intermediate Semester/Year      01.07.2020 to 15.07.2020 16.07.2020 to 31.07.2020
  Evaluation and Declaration of Result: (i) Terminal Semester/ Year (ii) Intermediate Semester/ Year    31.07.2020 14.08.2020  
  • The Academic Session 2020-21 may commence from 01.8.2020 for old students and from 01.09.2020 for fresh students. The following calendar is suggested for the academic session 2020-2021:
  Admission Process    01.08.2020 to 31.08.2020
  Commencement of Classes i. Students of 2nd / 3rd  year (For courses more than 3-year duration, the university may plan accordingly.) ii. Fresh batch (First Semester/Year)      01.08.2020     01.09.2020
  Conduct of Examinations    01.01.2021 to 25.01.2021
  Commencement of Classes for Even Semester    27.01.2021
  Dispersal of Classes    25.05.2021
  Conduct of Examinations    26.05.2021 to 25.06.2021
  Summer Vacations    01.07.2021 to 30.07.2021
  Commencement of Next Academic Session    02.08.2021

For above academic calendars and formulation of above guidelines following dignitaries contributed by maintaining lockdown guidelines for the greater good of students. The Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities, in view of COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, has been prepared on the basis of the Report of the Expert Committee constituted by the University Grants Commission under the Chairmanship of Prof. R. C. Kuhad, Former Member, UGC and Vice Chancellor, Central University of Haryana, Mahendergarh, Haryana along with members which includes Prof. A. C. Pandey, Director, Inter University Accelerator Centre, New Delhi; Prof. Aditya Shastri, Vice Chancellor, Banasthali Vidyapith, Banasthali, Rajasthan; Prof. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh; Prof. Upinder Dhar, Vice Chancellor, Shri Vaishnav Vidyapeeth Vishwavidyalaya, Indore, M.P; Dr. Surender Singh, Joint Secretary, University Grants Commission and Dr. Vikas Gupta, Joint Secretary, University Grants Commission (Member Co-ordinator). The Expert Committee also co-opted Prof. V. K. Jain, Vice Chancellor, Tezpur University, Assam; Prof. G. D. Sharma, Vice Chancellor, Atal Bihari Vajpayee University, Bilaspur, Chhatisgarh; Prof. Appa Rao Podile, Vice Chancellor, Central University of Hyderabad, Telangana; Prof. Rajesh Kumar Malik, Dean, School of Law, Central University of Haryana, Mahendergarh and Prof. Sanjiv Kumar, Dean Academics, Central University of Haryana, Mahendergarh. Dr. K. P. Singh, Former Joint Secretary, UGC and Dr. Diksha Rajput, Deputy Secretary, UGC have made valuable contribution in the finalization of the Guidelines. The document has been fine-tuned with the necessary support and relevant inputs provided by Prof. Rajnish Jain, Secretary, University Grants Commission. The Commission approved the document at its meeting held on 27.4.2020 through Video Conferencing. UGC sincerely acknowledges and appreciates the valuable contribution of all the members of the Expert Committee and other UGC officials.


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