Mandatory Exams for Final Year Students in August, Start New Session in October: UGC

New Delhi, 17 July:  The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked colleges to hold exams for final-year college students “mandatorily” while for the intermediate classes which are first and second-year students, there will not be any final exams. These guidelines are similar to that of last year when a panel suggested that for intermediate students, “50 per cent marks can be graded on the basis of the pattern of internal evaluation adopted by the universities and the remaining 50 per cent marks can be awarded on the basis of performance in previous semester only, the committee suggests.”

UGC too in its recent notice said that the guidelines issued earlier will apply for the current academic session 2020-21 as well. “Terminal semester or final-year exams will be compulsorily conducted in offline (pen & paper) or online or blended (online + offline) mode by no later than August 31, 2021 following the prescribed protocols/ guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the apex body said in its official notice.

“For students of the intermediate semester/year, the Higher Education Institutions may start their academic session (in online/offline/blended mode) as early as possible, following the guidelines/directions related to the COVID-19 pandemic issued by the appropriate government/competent authority,” it added.

Last year when similar guidelines were issued, students had protested for long as they said online exams are not appropriate to form of assessment. Some students also claimed that exams are being held despite conducting full classes or completing the syllabus. College are shut since mid-March 2020 and most of the classes are being held in online mode.

For the new academic session, the UGC said, “ensure that the admission process for undergraduate courses or programmes for the academic session 2021-2022 commences only after the declaration of results by the CBSE, ICSE, and State Boards. It is expected that all the School Boards will declare their results for the class/grade-XII examinations by July 31, 2021”.

It asked colleges to complete admissions for the session 2021-2022 “by no later than September 30”. The last date for admissions to fill up the remaining vacant seats shall be October 31, 2021. The relevant documents of the qualifying examination can be accepted up to December 31, 2021. The academic session 2021-2022 shall commence latest by October 1, 2021 for first semester/year students, said UGC.

“ln the case of Higher Education Institutions located at places where the appropriate government (Central/ State) or competent authority has imposed restrictions on public gatherings, the Higher Education Institutions may plan accordingly. In any case, these recommendations shall not cause any restrictions on the guidelines/directions issued by the appropriate government/ competent authority,” UGC said in a letter to heads of colleges.

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