University Grants Commission (UGC) has finally come up with a set of recommendations for universities and colleges on when to conduct the semester and annual exams and how to go about with the 2020-21 academic calendar, reports Times of India.

The recommendations are not too far from the what the panel had suggested in which the academic calendar and admission process for 1st year students will begin in August.

With regard to the annual and semester examinations, the Commission has recommended that the exams be conducted in the month of July and the result be declared by July 31st.

Prominent universities including JNU, Delhi University (DU), and Mumbai University are waiting for the UGC recommendations to chalk out the future course of action. These universities are expected to come up with their own report on the exams and academic calendar soon.

The guidelines are based on recommendation made by two committees, one of which was formed to suggest measures on examination and academic calendar, and the other panel was set to suggest on how to use the online channels for exams and imparting of curriculum

Academic Calendar

According to the report by TOI, the UGC has recommended that the admission process for the 1st year students begin from August 1st and the process should be completed before August 31st. The academic process for new students can begin from September 1st. For old students, the studies are suggested to begin from August 1st itself.

Universities are suggested to maintain proper physical distancing measures and other COVID-19 related precautions to avoid putting students at risk to the infection.

Suggested Academic Calendar for 2020-21

Activity Date
Admission Process August 1st to August 31st, 2020
Commencement of classes for old students August 1st
Commencement of classes for new students September 1st, 2020
Dispersal of classes May 25th, 2021
Annual Examination (2021) May 26th to June 25th, 2021 
Summer Vacation 2021 July 1st to July 30th, 2021
Academic session for 2021-22 From August 2nd, 2021

Examination for 2010-20 Academic Calendar

UGC has recommended colleges to conduct the annual/semester exams in the month of July and the result be declared by July 31st, 2020. To expedite the process, the commission has recommended to use a simplified way of conducting the exam like shortening the exam duration and flexibility of both online and offline examination.

The universities and colleges have been asked to continue online dissemination of classes to complete the courses and be ready to conduct the exams in the month of July.

In case the COVID-19 situation is not under control, colleges and universities can decide to promote students based on internal assessments and marks in the previous semester (if available).

Use of Internet of Online Sources

The guideline recommended by the commission has said that the academic week should consist of 6 days with a mixture of both online and offline classes. The colleges and universities have been recommended to develop virtual classrooms and video conferencing facilities.

The institutions have been asked to train all teaching staff on its usage, preparation of online content, online lab experiments. The recommendation says that at least 25% of the classes should be able to be delivered via online sources.

Future Course of Action

The set of guidelines offered by the Commission are suggestive in nature and colleges and universities have been given full freedom to tweak, adopt, adapt on how to implement these guidelines. Due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 situation, the commission has asked for universities to make decisions in the best interest of the students.

The recommendations assume that the COVID-19 situation will be under control by the month of June so that the process of examinations can be started in colleges and universities in the month of July while maintaining adequate precautions.