The University Grants Commission on Wednesday told universities and colleges that they could start the academic session for new college students in September and for already enrolled students from August due to the disruption in the academic calendar due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Educational institutions in India have been closed because of the pandemic.

The UGC, whose guidelines are advisory in nature, said that final semester examinations may be conducted by the universities in July. “For intermediate semester/year students, the universities may conduct examinations, after making a comprehensive assessment of their level of preparedness, otherwise grading be done based on the internal evaluation,” the commission said.

PhD and MPhil students have been granted a six-month extension and new guidelines were issued for conducting practical examinations. “The universities may conduct PhD, MPhil and practical examinations and viva-voce examinations through Skype or other meeting apps, and in case of intermediate semesters, the practical examinations may be conducted during the ensuing semesters,” the UGC said.

“Universities may follow a six-day week pattern and devise proforma to record travel or stay history of staff and students for the lockdown period,” the commission added.

The commission has also advised universities to establish a cell for handling student grievances related to examinations and academic activities during the lockdown.

Academic activities in India have been severely hit because of the nationwide lockdown to control Covid-19. Schools and colleges have had to switch to online platforms to continue classes.

The Central Board of Secondary Education on Wednesday cancelled pending Class 10 exams for most of most students in the country, except those in North East Delhi, and said that it would conduct 23 exams for Class 12.

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