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UGC asks universities, colleges to commence new academic session in November

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) Monday ordered Universities and Colleges to commence classes for new academic session 2020-21 from 1 November for first year Undergraduate and Postgraduate students.

UGC also directed the Universities and Colleges to complete the admission process by 31 October.

The new amended UGC guidelines, a copy of which lies with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) reads, “The academic session 2020-21 may commence from 01-11-2020 for first year students.”

“The UGC in August 2020 requested the expert committee to revisit the guidelines dated issues earlier in May and July respectively and suggest the revised admissions and academic calendar, and other connected matters, for the first year of UG and PG programmes for the session 2020-2021,” it reads.

The UGC report reads that the Commission at its emergent meeting held on September-21-09 considered the report of the expert committee and based on the report approved the UGC guidelines on academic calendar for the First Year of Under-Graduate and Postgraduate students of the Universities for the session 2020-21 in view of COVID-19 pandemic.

UGC said, “The academic calendar for the first year students proposed in the guidelines issued on April-04 stands amended. Hence, the academic session 2020-21 may commence from 01-11-2020 for first year students.”

In detailed guidelines, the UGC said that the admission process should be completed by October-31, commencement of classes of the first semester or first year students of fresh batch from November-01, preparatory break from March-01-2021 to March-03-2021, conduct of examinations March-08-2021 to March-26-2021.

UGC also said that the semester break shall be observed from March-03-2021 to April-04-2021, commencement of classes for even semester shall commence from May-04-2021 followed by the preparatory break from August-01-2021 to August-08-2021and the examinations shall be conducted from August-09-2021 to August-21-2021 then again semester break shall be observed from August-22-2021 to August-29-2021 and the commencement of next academic session for this batch shall start from August-30-2021 accordingly.

“If there is a delay in declaration of the 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 or online or blended mode,” it reads.

UGC said that all universities may follow a 6-day week pattern for the academic session 2020-21 and 2021-2022 to compensate the loss for this batch of students.

In order to avoid financial hardship being faced by the parents due to lockdown and related factors, UGC said that a full refund of fee be made on account of all cancellation of admissions and migration of students upto 30-11-2020 for this very session as a special case.

“Thereafter, on cancellation or withdrawal of the admissions up to 31-12-2020, the entire fee collected from a student shall be refunded in full after deduction of not more than Rs.1000 as processing fee,” UGC said.

The Commission urged the universities to compensate the delay in the start of academic session in the subsequent years by curtailing the breaks and vacations so that the batch of students would get their final results for award of degree timely.

“The Guidelines as issued earlier in April and July, highlighting the modes of teaching, conduct of examinations, and importance of physical and social distancing shall remain unchanged and shall remain mandatory in that respect,” it reads.

The UGC also said that if the university faces difficulty in making admissions as per the existing policy, it may adopt alternative modes of admission process, if otherwise legally tenable.

“In case of educational institutions located at places where the respective government has imposed restrictions on gathering of public, the institutions may plan accordingly,” UGC said. (KNO)

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