Online classes for various degree courses for the new academic year will commence on September 1, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and Higher Education Minister Ashwathnarayan CN announced on Wednesday. “Offline classes will be conducted starting in October,” he added.
Further, he said that the Higher Education Department is awaiting guidelines from the central government on conducting offline classes as well as the few degree exams to be held in September. “Therefore, the government has decided to get the ball rolling on all academic activities online from next month. In addition, all colleges will start in October, and students are expected to attend classes in person,” he said.
#Karnataka: Classes for various degree courses will commence online from September 1. Offline classes to be conducted from October, Dy CM and Higher Education Minister @drashwathcn confirms. pic.twitter.com/XxteZeUQCs
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) August 26, 2020
According to officials of the Higher Education Department, “comprehensive preparations” for starting offline classes are already underway following the guidelines set by the University Grants Commission. “The state government will, additionally, follow the directions from the central government as they come,” Ashwathnarayan added.
At the same time, the Minister also informed the state government’s decision to schedule final year examinations for all undergraduate, diploma and engineering courses, along with the commencement of the new academic year 2020-21.
“Meanwhile, exams for those students who hold backlogs will also be conducted. These decisions have been taken in the sole interest of the students to ensure their bright future,” Ashwathnarayan said.
‘Reality is conducive, NEET should not be opposed’
Responding to concerns raised by students and other stakeholders of the higher education sector in conducting the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), the Deputy CM said he suspects “something fishy” about the issue.
“Maybe, certain invisible groups want seats allocated through an opaque ‘system’ rather than on the basis of merit. Some vested interests have been trying to disrupt the NEET examination since the beginning. There is a huge ecosystem behind it with efforts going on for many years now,” he alleged.
He added, “When the reality is so conducive, I do not understand why people are opposing the NEET from being conducted,” citing how the Karnataka government successfully conducted the Common Entrance Test for more than 1.94 lakh students, including 63 COVID-19 Positive students who attended the exams on July 30 and 31.
The Higher Education Minister then emphasised that NEET needs to be conducted as it is a “well-structured exam” which allows students to take up admissions throughout the country with just one test.
“There is certainly some malice involved in the widespread opposition to NEET but the state government stands well-prepared for the test and will conduct it smoothly,” he said.
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