New Delhi: With Covid-19 cases still rising across the country, the central government is now rethinking if it should conduct college exams in July, ThePrint has learnt.
College exams are usually over by May in almost all higher education institutions in India. This year, however, the academic calendar had to be revised in the wake of the pandemic and the lockdown.
According to the new calendar, colleges were to conduct regular offline exams in July and start the new academic session in August for second and third-year students, and in September for freshers.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) is now re-working the revised calendar and could soon take a call regarding holding of exams in July.
The commission has recently approached the expert committee, formed under Haryana University Vice-Chancellor R.C. Kuhad, and has asked it to rethink the idea of holding exams in July in the wake of the rising number of Covid cases, and come up with an alternative solution.
“We have recently asked the committee to give us suggestions regarding college exams. We are waiting for their report and will accordingly issue instructions to all higher education institutions,” UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain told ThePrint.
The sources also said there is a possibility that exams could be cancelled and colleges asked to evaluate students on the basis of internal assessment. However, the commission is waiting for suggestions from the expert committee to take a final call, they added.
Some states have already made decisions
Releasing its academic calendar in May, the UGC had said colleges that do not have the infrastructure of conducting online exams can conduct pen-and-paper exams in July.
This applied primarily to final-year students as for the first and second-year candidates, the commission gave colleges the freedom to promote them on the basis of internal evaluation.
Meanwhile, some states such as Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have already taken a call.
Maharashtra colleges have decided to make final-year exams optional. Students, who are pursuing non-professional courses, can choose whether they want to take the exam or not.
The Madhya Pradesh government has, meanwhile, decided to announce the result of final-year students on the basis of their performance in previous semesters. This apart, the state has decided to do away with exams for first and second-year students.
UGC wants to announce uniform rules
The UGC wants to come up with a uniform set of instructions that colleges and universities across the country can follow.
“Some states have cancelled exams on their own, but we want to come up with a uniform set of instructions, which all institutes can abide by,” said a UGC official, who didn’t want to be named.
Among the central varsities, Delhi University amid opposition from both the faculty and students has decided to conduct online exams through the open book examination (OBE) mode for its final-year students.
The Aligarh Muslim University has also decided to conduct online open-book exams in July for all final semester papers of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University has already conducted online exams in May-end, but also gave the option to take offline exams to those who could not make use of the online facilities to write exams.
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