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Online exams if possible or pen-and-paper exams after lockdown, V-C headed panels tell UGC

The panels have suggested that universities & colleges should take a call on whether to begin new session after looking at the Covid-19 situation in their respective areas.

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New Delhi: Universities should conduct online exams if they have the wherewithal or wait for the lockdown to get over and then decide a date for pen-and-paper examinations. Two expert committees led by vice-chancellors (V-C) have recommended this to the University Grants Commission (UGC), ThePrint has learnt.

Semester exams are pending in most of the universities and colleges due to the lockdown.

The two committees were constituted by the UGC to look into the issues of academic loss and online education in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown in the country. The issues pertained to holding of exams, online classes and the new academic session.

One of the committees is led by Haryana University Vice-Chancellor R.C. Kuhad. It was formed to look into the ways of conducting exams in universities amid the lockdown. The other committee, formed to suggest measures to improve online education, is led by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) V-C Nageshwar Rao.

Both the committees have submitted their reports to the UGC Friday and the government is now expected to issue a set of guidelines for universities and colleges by early next week based on the recommendations.

Confirming the development, UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain told ThePrint: “The committees have submitted their report today. The government will now look at the recommendations and issue guidelines based on that by next week.” 

He, however, refused to divulge other details of the reports. 

Also read: Modi govt wants CBSE, NCERT, colleges to revise academic calendar due to Covid-19 lockdown

‘Reports are not binding in nature’

Sources in the UGC and in the committees told ThePrint that the members of the panels have given a lot of freedom to universities and have left it upto them on how they want to take the academic session forward.

A source in the UGC, who is privy to the reports, said, “The reports are not binding in nature and a mere suggestion to the universities. The recommendations include conducting online exams wherever possible. If a university has the means, including the infrastructure to conduct online exams, they should go ahead with it. Ones that do not have the means should wait for the lockdown to get over and then conduct a pen and paper exam.

“One of the suggestions is to promote students on the basis of their performance in the previous semesters, if a university is unable to conduct exams. The committees have suggested that the number of papers be reduced in case the universities want to hold fresh assessment and are not willing to promote students on the basis of their past performance,” the source added.

Look at local situations before starting new session

Holding online exams is something the UGC officials did not agree to because they felt universities, specially the ones in the far-flung areas, do not have the means to conduct them.

On the beginning of the new academic session, the committees suggested that the universities should take a call looking at the Covid-19 situation locally. 

“If an area has less coronavirus cases or it is declared a green zone by the government, universities in that area can decide to start the academic sessions as per schedule but if the local situation does not permit, they will have to wait,” said a member of one of the committees, who didn’t want to be named. 

Usually, the new academic session begins between July and August in universities and colleges. But this year, there is a huge uncertainty on that front in the wake of the pandemic.

Also read: AICTE tells technical colleges to help students complete internships from home


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  1. 𝙊𝙛𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙨𝙚 𝙞𝙩 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙗𝙚 𝙖 𝙝𝙞𝙜𝙝 𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙠 , 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙄 𝙨𝙪𝙜𝙜𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙚𝙭𝙖𝙢𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙥𝙚𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙥𝙖𝙥𝙚𝙧 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙨𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙗𝙡𝙚𝙢𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙣𝙚𝙩 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙈𝙖𝙡-𝙥𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙚𝙨, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙚𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙛𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙮𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙨 𝙨𝙩𝙪𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙨 𝙞𝙩 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙗𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙣𝙡𝙮 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙢𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙪𝙥 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙞𝙧 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙞𝙩’𝙨 𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙗𝙚𝙘𝙖𝙪𝙨𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙢𝙖𝙧𝙠𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙨𝙘𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙙𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙙𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙞𝙧 𝙛𝙪𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙚 𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙥,,,, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙄 𝙨𝙪𝙜𝙜𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙞𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙩 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙥𝙚𝙧 𝙢𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙪𝙧𝙚𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 ,

  2. online exam can create most of problems like network ,some of students living in rural areas arenot having internet facilities so online exam should be problematic

  3. Honestly there is no need for the Universities to panic regarding the semester exams. Online exams should be discouraged because of internet problem and cheating.
    The exams are better conducted in pen and paper possibly in the month of June or July and let the next academic session begin by end of August or early September.

    • Easier said than done.Do you realise how much exams there is one semester.If they ever give out verdict of having this semester exam and the next semester in one semester it would drain the students to its core.People would have to write 12-13 subjects in one semester and not counting the practicals and this not counting the students who has back logs and such.Do you realise how much tension and potential failure it would produce.

  4. What about students who are away from the college or come from other states kilometres away how can they write exams there are high chances the virus may spread because of this we can’t risk life for a single semester it is better to promote on the previous semester basis as per the point of the article,even colleges like GITAM Bangalore has more than 80% of student population from the neighbouring states how can they travel and give exams or stay on hostels it is matter to think wisely School colleges are same if one gets the infection all get it’ll just multiple.

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