UGC Calendar 2020: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released fresh guidelines on how universities and colleges will function after the lockdown ends. As per the commission, digital learning, faculty training and social distancing are going to be the core areas. The colleges will open from August for enrolled students and for the new batch, admissions will begin in August and classes by September.
The universities, when functional after the lockdown, will follow a six days a week pattern, as per the recommendations of the UGC panel. Social distancing will be practiced and for laboratory or practical experiments, students will be allowed to work through virtual laboratories.
Training faculy to go digital
The digital thrust will not end with the lockdown and the universities will have to develop virtual classroom and video conferencing facility which can be accessed anytime. All teaching staff will be trained to teach digitally. The training, as per the recommendations will include ICT – information communication technology along with digital teaching apps and tools.
Further, all the content of universities will be uploaded in digital form on its official website to be accessed anytime, as per the guidelines of the UGC panel. This has been done to ensure that no varsity is caught unprepared in case of any crisis. During this pandemic many students had failed to connect to digital classrooms even as most institutes are holding online classes.
Not all classes will start physically once the schools and colleges reopen. Teachers will be asked to publish 25 per cent of the syllabus through online teaching and the rest through face to face traditional classrooms.
Once open, the universities and colleges will first start to conduct the exams for their final year or terminal semester examination. Dates suggested by the UGC is from July 1 to July 15. They can declare their results at the end of the month. For second and third year students, the varsity can conduct exams from July 16-30 and announce results by August 14. If the situation does not improve, it is likely that for first and second semester exams will not be held and students will be promoted on the basis of internal assessment.
Universities have also been asked to use innovative modes of examinations and assessments. The duration of exams will be reduced from three hours to two hours. This might be a one-time move.
Health in focus
The UGC also suggested universities to devise a proforma to record the travel/ stay history of the staff and students for the period when they were away from the university due to lockdown.
Every university will establish a COVID-19 cell for handling student grievances related to exams and academic activities during the coronavirus pandemic. The UGC has also announced to establish a helpline for monitoring student grievances in this regard. Among other immediate measures, attendance will be granted to all students for this period.