Classes of the first year undergraduate and post graduate students will start from November 1 with the university grants commission (UGC) approving a revised academic calendar for the 2020-21 session.
In case there is any delay in declaration of results of the qualifying exams for admission, the universities can start the academic session by November 18, the UGC said.
“The teaching learning process may continue in offline/online/blended mode,” it added.
According to the decision taken by the higher education regulator, all universities and colleges will have to complete the admission process by October 31. They can fill up the remaining vacant seats by November 30.
The UGC has also approved a suggestion for making it mandatory for all the universities and colleges to refund “entire fee” of the first-year students who choose to withdraw after taking admission upto November 30, 2020.
“To be crystal clear, the entire fees including all charges shall be refunded in totality with zero cancellation charges on account of cancellation/migration up to November 30, 2020,” a UGC official said. On cancellation or withdrawal of admissions upto December 31, the entire fee collected from a student will be refunded in full after deduction of not more than Rs 1000 as processing fee, the official added.
This decision has been taken considering that many parents may have been facing financial hardships amid pandemic “due to lockdown and related factors”.
The higher education regulator has approved the revised academic calendar based on the recommendations of an expert committee, set up earlier to deliberate on the issue and make suggestions.
“In view of the covid-19 pandemic, the commission has accepted the report of the committee and approved the UGC guidelines on academic calendar for the first year of under graduate and post-graduate students of the universities for the session 2020-21,” Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank stated in a tweet.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has accepted the Report of the Committee and approved the @ugc_india Guidelines on Academic Calendar for the First Year of Under-Graduate and Post-Graduate Students of the Universities for the Session 2020-21.
Suggested calendarðÂÂÂÂÂÂ pic.twitter.com/JPYNhiWb0k— Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (@DrRPNishank) September 22, 2020
As per the UGC guidelines on academic calendar, first year students will not have winter or summer breaks. The expert committee, in its report to the commission, has recommended for curtailing “winter, summer and other breaks” to make up the time lost, as the start of the academic session has been delayed due to pandemic.
“This would ensure that these students would timely complete their 3 year undergraduate and postgraduate,” an official said.
The committee has recommended that all the universities should follow a 6-day week pattern for the academic session 2020-21 and 2021-2022 to compensate the loss for this batch of students.
As per the revised academic calendar, the universities and colleges will conduct examination for the first semester from March 8 to March 26 next year. While the classes for the second semester of the first-year students will start from April 5 next year, the examinations for this semester will be held from August 9 to August 21.
The next academic session will begin August 30, the UGC said. The government has not taken any decision on the reopening of the university and college campus.