Classes for the first-year students have been scheduled to begin from November 1, and no new admissions will be allowed after November 30, as per the new academic calendar approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in September.
Earlier, on April 29, the UGC had guided the universities to conduct all examinations from July 1 to July 15 and declare the results by the end of July. Classes for the first-year students were also scheduled to begin from September 1. However, with a spike in the coronavirus infections and the lack of infrastructure to conduct entrance examinations, the schedule could not be followed. Now, a revised academic calendar has been released. Seeing the situation of coronavirus cases in the country in July, the exams were also postponed, and all universities were guided to finish their final-year or terminal semester examination by September-end.
Tweeting about the recent changes in the UGC guidelines, Union Education Minister Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ wrote, “In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has accepted the Report of the Committee and approved the @ugc_india Guidelines on Academic Calendar for the First Year of Under-Graduate and Post-Graduate Students of the Universities for the Session 2020-21.” He also mentioned a clause for easing the financial burden on parents, “To avoid financial hardship being faced by the parents due to lockdown and related factors, a full refund of fees will be made on account of all cancellation of admissions/ migration of students, up to 30.11.2020, for this very session as a special case.”
By the recent revision in the UGC guidelines, all higher education institutions have been advised to teach six days a week so that the lost hours can be made up. Holidays and vacations have also been put on hold until further notice. The UGC’s revised guidelines state, “If there is a delay in declaration of results of the qualifying examinations, the universities may plan and start the academic session by 18.11.2020. The teaching-learning process may continue in offline/ online/ blended mode.” The students will be allowed to take a break of seven days from 1 to 7 March 2021, and the exams will begin from 8 March to continue till 26 March 2021. About the fees, UGC also clarified, “To be crystal clear, the entire fees, including all charges, be refunded in totality (zero cancellation charges) on account of cancellation/ migration up to 30.11.2020. Thereafter, on cancellation/ withdrawal of admissions up to 31.12.2020, the entire fee collected from a student is refunded in full after deduction of not more than Rs 1000 as processing fee.”
- Also read: JGU Ranked Among the Top 150 Universities of the World in the QS Young University Rankings 2021
What does the Policy Times suggest?
- The financial allocations made by the Education ministry is a welcome move, and parents need some reassurance in these adverse times.
- The real challenge is for the educational institutes which have no infrastructure to conduct the entrance exams throughout the country and also cannot take merit-based admission in the postgraduate courses.
- Universities like Jamia Millia Islamia had earlier planned on merit-based admission in the postgraduate courses but seeing a vehement protest from the expecting students, the university decided to conduct the entrance exams.