The Coronavirus pandemic has made a huge impact on this year’s academic session. The academic year 2020-21 which usually starts in the middle of the July for higher education is likely to be pushed till September.
COVID-19 Impact on Education: The Coronavirus pandemic has made a huge impact on this year’s academic session. The academic year 2020-21 which usually starts in the middle of the July for higher education is likely to be pushed till September. A government-appointed committee has recommended pushing the session by September, the Indian Express reported. According to the report, a seven-member committee set up by the University Grants Commission (UGC) has been deliberating on it and has submitted a report proposing the same. It is to note that universities and schools across the country have been shut down owing to a nationwide lockdown announced in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Apart from the delay in the new semester, the report said that the panel has recommended taking the year-end or the semester-end exams, that could not take place due to the lockdown, in July. The UGC is expected to frame some guidelines on university examinations as well as the new academic calendar as per the report submitted by the committee. The guidelines are likely to lay down “the outer time limit” and the government will expect the universities to start the new academic year by then, the report said citing sources.
According to the report, if the UGC accepts the committee’s recommendations, the Union government will have to reach out to the Supreme Court and get its approval for the extension of the last date to complete admissions to medical programmes (whose last date currently is August 31) and technical applications like engineering (August 15). Since the apex court has mandated these deadlines, therefore its permission is prerequisite before any change is carried out.
Discussing online education, the report added that UGC has set up another committee that will be making recommendations on online education. This committee has advised that it should not be mandated for the universities to take exams online as the local environment, composition of students, diversity, preparedness of the learners, current infrastructure and technology support differs.