Colleges to reopen from September instead of July. UGC panels recommend online exams wherever possible

Due to the COVID-19 breakout, universities and colleges are closed since March 16. Advisories were released around the same date in many state and central colleges.

Now a panel appointed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) has recommended that the Universities and colleges must be opened in September instead of July after analyzing the situations brought up by the coronavirus pandemic.

Though online classes were organized by many institutes around the nation and the two committees constituted by the UGC are now asked to look into the issues related to academic loss to the institutes amid the coronavirus lockdown.

To look into the way the exams can be conducted online or post lockdown and the rescheduling of the academic calendar one committee was led by Haryana University Vice-Chancellor RC Kuhad, and to devise ways for improvising the methods of conducting the online classes another committee was led by VC Nageshwar Rao of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).

Suggestions as outcomes from the panels were reopening the colleges and universities in September instead of July, and online exams could be conducted by the institutes having the required infrastructure and resources, or they must wait for the lockdown to be lifted to conduct pen-paper based examinations.

The reports from the two panels will be studied by the UGC, and the corresponding guidelines will be generated in the following week.

All the recommendations cannot be accepted, looking at the feasibility of the issue, but certain guidelines will be generated, said, an official of the HRD Ministry.

Entrance examinations, on the other hand, are due to be conducted. JEE and NEET dates were postponed by the deployment of the lockdown. Where NEET is to be conducted only once, JEE has its April attempt due with the second level exam JEE Advance which happens to be conducted at the end of May but now has been shifted.

There are no clear signals of dates of the remaining CBSE board examinations. The CBSE board also announced that it would only conduct 29 exams that are necessary for the promotion of the undergraduates, but now the news that flew has information regarding the cancellation of the board exams for class 10 students.

Since the lockdown has been announced till May 3, therefore the Joint Entrance Examination will be delayed. College sessions for the freshers will start from September and for the old students from August in various IITs and NITs as per the guidelines generated by the UGC.

Online lectures are being delivered in many institutes, and now the issue of conducting examinations is in the basket. Institutes are trying to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

The nation now has 33,050 confirmed cases with a death toll of 1,074.