On Saturday, the officials from the University Grants Commission (UGC) stated that it will release a set of guidelines consisting of academic measures that will be followed by the Universities & Colleges for the next and current academic year in the next week. Earlier the UGC had formed two committees for this purpose. The guidelines will be prepared by these two committees.
The UGC has released an official statement regarding this matter. It reads that two committees were constituted by the UGC in order to address the academic issues which the Universities and colleges are facing as a countrywide lockdown has been imposed due to the outbreak of COVID – 19 disease. The academic issues being addressed are conduction of examinations & their dates, upcoming academic calendar, admission in different courses, and other similar issues. The committee will ensure that proper steps are taken in order to evade academic losses and introduce appropriate measures for all enrolled students.
Prof R C Kuhad who is the Vice – Chancellor of Central University of Haryana as well as a former member of UGC has been heading the first committee. They have been specified with the responsibility to come up with measures regarding the academic calendar along with examination related matters.
Prof Nageshwar Rao who is the Vice – Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is the Chairman of the second committee. They have been asked to work on the issues related to the promotion of online education.
A source from UGC while speaking to the media stated that one panel has made this recommendation that instead of July (like every year), the academic session should start from September this year. The second panel has suggested that if the Universities have the required infrastructure to conduct the exams online, then they should do so. Otherwise, they should wait till the lockdown gets over and come up with a date for pen -and -paper based examination.
A further statement released by the UGC states that on April 24, 2020 both these committees had submitted their respective reports to the Regulating body. During the next meeting, the UGC commission will discuss the points suggested by both the committees. On the basis of the decision that the Commission will take, the UGC will issue necessary guidelines and advisories to the colleges as well as Universities related to the steps that have to be implemented for the ongoing academic session as well as the upcoming academic session. The decision will be taken considering the better interests of the student community.
A senior official from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has said that it is not necessary that the Commission will accept all the recommendations that have been made by the committees. After having a deliberate discussion on this matter, and considering the prevailing situation, the officials will be issuing necessary guidelines so that the students do not end up suffering any kind of loss in their studies due to the ongoing lockdown.