‘UGC panel for cancellation of final-year exams’ | India News

NEW DELHI: In view of the countrywide surge in Covid-19 infections, exams of even final- year students in higher educational institutions, scheduled to be held in July, are likely to be cancelled and commencement of the new academic session deferred to October, government sources said on Wednesday.
The pending CBSE Board exams, which were scheduled to be held between July 1 and July 15, are also likely to be cancelled. The decision is expected on Thursday when the Supreme Court hears the issue, sources said, adding that engineering and medical entrance tests like JEE (Main) and NEET-UG are also to be postponed.
Reviewing the prevailing situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic on Wednesday, the UGC’s panel of experts, headed by Haryana University Vice-Chancellor RC Kuhad, recommended cancellation of the final-year examinations in universities.
“An expert panel has observed that the final examinations cannot be held in July as scheduled due to the risk of exposure to lakhs of students.The new guidelines are likely to be issued in a couple of days,” said a senior UGC official. The UGC will announce the guidelines after getting approval from the HRD ministry.
HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal tweeted, “I have advised UGC to revisit the guidelines issued earlier for intermediate and terminal semester examinations and academic calendar. The foundation for revisited guidelines shall be health and safety (of) students, teachers and staff.”
As per the new suggested guidelines, final-year students will now be evaluated based on the previous semester examinations and internal assessments, sources in MHRD said.
The April 29 guidelines for assessment of final-year students had suggested universities to conduct examinations in offline or online mode, while it was recommended that first and second-year students be promoted on the basis of internal evaluation and performance in the previous semester/year. However, it also recommended that in case a student was not satisfied, he/she will be allowed an improvement opportunity when the situation normalises. The final-year exams were scheduled between July 1 and July 31.
“There have been representations from teachers and students raising concerns over conducting exams in the present situation and universities too have communicated their inability to conduct exams in the prevailing situation,” said an official of the ministry.
As per the earlier UGC guidelines, the universities were expected to reopen for second and third year students on August 1 and for the fresh batch from September 1. Now, the dates are likely to be deferred to October.
Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16 when the central government announced a countrywide classroom shutdown.

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