UGC asks varsities to use internal assessments if exams not possible
In guidelines finalised after long deliberations, the higher education sector regulator has provided that in case the previous semester’s result is not available, particularly in the first year, 100% evaluation may be done on the basis of internal assessments.Updated: Apr 30, 2020 00:02 IST
Universities facing difficulty in holding exams due to COVID-19 should grade students on the basis of internal assessment and performance in the previous semester, higher education sector regulator UGC has decided.
In guidelines finalised after long deliberations, the higher education sector regulator has provided that in case the previous semester’s result is not available, particularly in the first year, 100% evaluation may be done on the basis of internal assessments.
The internal evaluation can be continuous evaluation, prelims, mid-semester, internal evaluation or whatever name is given for student progression, the University Grants Commission. The guidelines are “advisory” in nature.
The UGC has suggested that examinations be held in May and June while July can be the month of summer vacations. The next academic cycle would begin from August 2. The UGC has suggested that the academic year 2020-21 begin from August for second and third year students and in September for new joinees.
Universities may adopt efficient and innovative modes of examinations by reducing the time from 3 hours to 2 hours, it said.
. The students should be informed well in advance (at least one week) about the conduct of examinations and other related activities.
The regulator, however, also provided that students who want to improve their grades should be allowed another opportunity, whenever circumstances allow, and also there should be a grievance redressal mechanism put in place by the varsities. The UGC will establish a Help Line for monitoring student grievances.
Where it is difficult to hold exams, universities can mark students 50% on the basis of the pattern of internal evaluation and the remaining 50% marks can be awarded on the basis of performance in previous semester, the guidelines said.
The internal evaluation can be continuous evaluation, prelims, mid-semester, internal evaluation or whatever name is given for student progression, the regulator said.
Period of lockdown will be treated as ‘deemed to be attended’ by all the students.
The universities may conduct the practical examinations and Viva-Voce Examinations through Skype or other meeting apps, and in case of intermediate semesters, the practical examinations may be conducted during the ensuing semesters, the guidelines suggest.
They also allow for extension of six months period to the M Phil or PhD students.
The UGC has held July as the month for vacations and the next session begins from August.
Universities will follow a six-day-week schedule. Students will be given exposure to laboratory assignments or practical experiments through virtual laboratories, sharing of the recorded visuals of laboratory work and digital resources available for the purpose.
Varsities should also develop virtual classroom and video conferencing facility and all teaching staff should be trained with the use of the technology.
Among others things UGC has recommended that uiversities should prepare e-content/e-lab experiments and upload on their websites. They have also been asked to strengthen the mechanism of mentor-mentee counselling.
Universities may devise a proforma to record the Travel or Stay history of the staff and students for the period when they were away from the university due to lockdown. Faculty should be adequately trained for the use of ICT and online teaching tools, so that they complete about 25% of the syllabus through online teaching and 75% syllabus through face to face teaching, the UGC has also recommended.
The guidelines also mention that some of the universities lack adequate IT infrastructure for conducting online examinations. The hiring of private agencies for conducting online examinations also does not seem feasible in view of the fact that examinations are to be conducted simultaneously by all the universities. Therefore, keeping in view the basic infrastructure available at the level of the institutions and accessibility of internet to the students, especially in remote areas, it is not feasible to uniformly adopt the online mode of examination at this juncture.