The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Friday notified the guidelines pertaining to the academic calendar for the 1st year of Under-Graduate and Post-Graduate Students of the Universities for the Session 2020-21 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The notification stated that in August 2020 the UGC requested the Expert Committee to revisit the guidelines dated 29.04.2020 and 06.07.2020 and suggest a revised Admissions and Academic Calendar. and other connected matters, for the first year of UG and PG programmes for the session 2020-2021. The Commission at its emergent meeting held on 21.09.2020 considered the Report of the Expert Committee and based on the Report approved the "UGC Guidelines on Academic Calendar for the First Year.
1. The institutions where admissions are solely through entrance tests and have completed the necessary requirements or are likely to complete these requirements in near future, may start their academic session of 1st year at the earliest. If necessity arises, provisional admissions may also be made. The relevant documents of qualifying examination be accepted up to 31.12.2020.
2. Merit/ entrance based admissions to the first year programmes for the session 2020-21 to be completed by the end of October 2020. The last date for admissions to fill up the remaining vacant seats shall be 30.11.2020
3. The academic calendar for the first year students' proposed in the Guidelines dated 29.04.2020 stands amended. Hence, the academic Session 2020-21 may commence from 01.11.2020 for first year students. Accordingly. the following calendar is suggested for the academic session 2020-2021:
- Admission Process (To be completed) 31.10.2020
- Commencement of Classes of above students
- Fresh batch (First Semester/Year) 01.11.2020
- Preparatory Break 01.03.2021 to 07.03.2021
- Conduct of Examinations 08.03.2021 to 26.03.2021
- Semester Break 27.03.2021 to 04.04.2021
- Commencement of Classes for Even Semester 5.04.2021
- Preparatory Break 01.08.2021 to 08.08.2021
- Conduct of Examinations 09.08.2021 to 21.08.2021
- Semester Break 22.08.2021 to 29.08.2021
- Commencement of Next Academic Session for this Batch 30.08.2021
If there is a delay in the declaration of result of the qualifying examinations, the UGC has said that the universities may plan and start the academic session by November 18, 2020. The teaching-learning process may continue in offline/online/blended mode.
4. All the universities may follow a 6-day week pattern for the academic session 2020-21 and 2021-2022 to compensate the loss for this batch of students.
5. In order to avoid financial hardship being faced by the parents due to lockdown and related factors, full refund of fees be made on account of all cancellation of admissions/ migration of students, up to 30.11.2020, for this very session as a special case.
To be crystal clear, the entire tees including all charges be refunded in totality (Zero Cancellation charges) on account of cancellation/ migration up to 30.11.2020. Thereafter, on cancellation/ withdrawal of admissions up to 31.12.2020. the entire fee collected from a student be refunded in full after deduction of not more than Rs.1000/- as processing fee.
6. The universities are requested to compensate the delay in the start of academic session in the subsequent years by curtailing the breaks/ vacations so that this batch of students would get their final results for award of degree timely.
7. The Guidelines as issued on 29.04.2020 and 06.07.2020 highlighting the modes of teaching, conduct of examinations, importance of physical & social distancing etc. shall remain unchanged and shall remain mandatory in that respect.
8. In view of the present scenario and future uncertainties:
The universities may adopt and implement these Guidelines in a transparent manner by making alterations/ additions/ modifications/ amendments to deal with particular situation(s) in the best interest of students, educational institution and the entire education system, except in respect of those guidelines that are mandatory.
If the university faces difficulty in making admissions as per the existing policy, it may adopt alternative modes of admission process, if otherwise legally tenable.
In case of educational institutions located at places where the Government (Centre/ State) have imposed restrictions on gathering of public, the institutions may plan accordingly. In any case, the above recommendations shall not cause any restrictions on the guidelines/directions issued by the appropriate Government/ competent authority.
Notwithstanding the above Guidelines, every university/ college has to ensure that it is prepared in all respects to carry out the academic activities following necessary advisories/guidelines/directions issued by the Central/State Government, MHRD or UGC from time to time to prevent the spread of COVID-19.