New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) Welcoming the guidelines issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on examinations and academic calendar in view of COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University Jagadesh Kumar Mamidala said the guidelines are a ‘fresh breather’ to the students and also the educational institutes.
Mamidala said the guidelines take into account the diverse conditions and requirements of higher educational institutions.
“These guidelines emphasize the need to follow the measures taken by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19 while making sure that the educational processes continue by an effective use of various available technological options,” Mamidala said.
He also defended rescheduling of academic calendar as suggested by the UGC.
“It makes sense to reschedule the academic calendar 2019-2020 because after the lockdown is lifted, it will take some time for the students to complete their examinations and move on to the next academic session,” he added.
In a set of guidelines issued on Wednesday, the UGC recommended that college sessions should begin in August for current students and in September for new ones.
Commenting on the examinations and the methods suggested by UGC, Mamidala said these guidelines would complete examinations without diluting the ‘academic rigour’.
“The guidelines also suggest a flexible approach to complete the examinations without diluting the academic rigour and keeping the interests of the students in mind,” he said.
For the matters related to examination, the UGC allowed the universities to chart out their own plan of action, but suggested grading intermediate semester students on internal assessment of the present and previous semesters.
In states where the COVID-19 situation has normalized, there will be exams in July, the UGC recommended.
“The six-month extension for the submission of thesis/dissertations by research scholars is particularly welcome,” Mamidala said.
On the liberty given to universities by the UGC to alter, add or modify guidelines, Mamidala said, “This will suit the local situations and preparedness of the Universities.”
The UGC-issued guidelines were based on recommendations made by an expert committee to deliberate on issues related to exams and the academic calendar and take appropriate measures for the future of students.
The expert committee was headed by Prof. R.C. Kuhad, Former Member, UGC and Vice Chancellor, Central University of Haryana, Mahendragarh, Haryana along with other members.