UGC Guidelines for University Exams 2020: In a meeting held on Monday, the regulator of higher education decided to advise universities and colleges to conduct final semester exams by September-end
“The Home Ministry in a letter to the Union Higher Education Secretary, today permitted the conduct of examinations by Universities and Institutions,” an official statement read.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to not recommend cancellation of the final semester (or final-year) examination, the higher education regulator decided in a meeting held on Monday, i.e., July 6.
The UGC will advise the Universities and colleges to assess the graduating batch through an examination conducted in either online or offline or blended mode. The regulator also decided to tweak its alternative calendar and advise institutions to hold exams by September-end.
The ministry made a written note to the Higher Education Secretary, permitting the long-pending exams as part of Unlock 2. The final year examinations are to be compulsorily conducted as per the UGC Guidelines and academic calendar for the Universities. As per the Standard Operating Procedure approved by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the letter said.
The UGC was the first to release an indicative academic calendar for higher education institutions on April 29 in which it had prescribed that universities conduct their final-year or terminal semester examination from July 1 to July 15 and declare their results at the end of the month.
“For students who cannot appear for the final semester or final year exam, the universities will hold a special exam after September. And those who could not pass the exam will also be allowed to improve,” said an officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The UGC will soon issue revised guidelines to this effect.
Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” — who asked the University Grants Commission yesterday to “revisit” the academic calendar and guidelines released in Apri — tweeted:
“Evaluation of the terminal semester students which was to be done through examinations in the month of July, now their examinations will be conducted by the end of September-2020, following the guidelines laid down by @MoHFW_INDIA for #COVID–19,” his second tweet read.
According to the new guidelines, the final university exams can be held online and offline. In case a student cannot appear in September, provisions will be made so she can take the exams later.
So far, several states, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Haryana, cancelled all higher education exams and decided to promote students based on previous performances and assignments.
Recently, the Gujarat government reversed its decision to conduct final year examinations. In contrast, the Rajasthan government has cancelled under-graduate and post-graduate exams in all state universities.
With schools shut since Mid -March, the board exams in most states were cancelled, and the students were internally assessed based on previous performances or assignments.
Students have been demanding to cancel the competitive entrance exams for engineering and medical studies, scheduled to be held this month. There has been no announcement on the same yet.
Since the entire guidelines are based on the strict recommendations of a committee headed by Haryana Central University vice-chancellor RC Kuhad, the higher education regulator referred HRD Ministry’s request back to the panel for review. Monday’s decisions were also based on Kuhad committee’s suggestions.
UGC’s revised guidelines are likely to have an impact on examination schedules across the country, especially in states like Gujarat and Karnataka that were waiting for the regulator’s stand on the issue. However, it’s not clear whether states like Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh will now revisit their decision to cancel all exams in higher education.