UGC Guidelines: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided not to recommend cancellation of the final semester (or final year) examination for graduating batches and has advised institutions to conduct these exams by the end of September. In a meeting held Monday, the regulator said these exams can be conducted in online, offline or blended mode.
In a press statement issued late Monday evening, the UGC said the decision to advise universities to go ahead with the final-year exams was taken to “ensure academic credibility, career opportunities and future progress of students globally”. “Academic evaluation is a very important milestone in every education system. The performance in examinations gives confidence and satisfaction to the students and is a reflection of competence, performance and credibility that is necessary for global acceptability,” the UGC said.
To appear for the final semester or final-year exam, universities will hold a special exam after September. Final-year students with backlog will be compulsorily evaluated through an exam.
Earlier in the day, the Home Ministry issued a press statement saying that it had permitted universities and colleges to conduct exams and that “final-term examinations are to be compulsorily conducted as per UGC Guidelines”.
The Monday meeting was held by the regulator to revisit the ‘indicative alternative calendar’ it had released on April 29 for higher education institutions. The indicative calendar had prescribed that universities conduct their final-year or end-semester examination from July 1 to July 15 and declare their results by the end of the month.
On June 24, however, the HRD Ministry asked the UGC to reconsider its “Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities in View of COVID-19 Pandemic and Subsequent Lockdown” in the wake of rising Covid cases in the country.
Since the guidelines were based on the recommendations of a committee headed by Haryana Central University Vice-Chancellor R C Kuhad, the higher education regulator referred the Ministry’s request back to the panel for review. Monday’s decisions were also based on the Kuhad committee’s suggestions.
According to sources, the Kuhad committee had also suggested that the new academic session for undergraduate students should start in the first week of November and for postgraduate students in the first week of December, but this wasn’t taken up during the meeting today.
UGC’s revised guidelines are likely to have an impact on examination schedules across the country, especially in states such as Gujarat and Karnataka which were waiting for the regulator’s stand on the issue. However, it’s not clear whether states such Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh will now revisit their decision to cancel all exams in higher education.
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