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New Delhi, April 25, 2020
The nationwide lockdown amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) scare has pushed back the start of academic sessions in universities across the country, which will now begin in September 2020.
It is one of the recommendations made by a seven-member committee set up by the University Grants Commission (UGC) so as to give recommendations on the start of the new academic calendar and conduct of higher education examinations across the country.
The panel in its recommendations suggested that the academic sessions should be started two months late.
The expert panel pointed out that the examinations could not be held as per the earlier schedule due to the lockdown. So, it suggested, the examinations at the end of the course or semester should now be held in July.
It is pertinent to mention here that the schools, colleges and universities across India have been shut since March 15.
The UGC will now plan the academic calendar and issue necessary guidelines for the coming session on the basis of the panel's recommendations.
Once the UGC gives the go-ahead to the recommendations, the government will have to adopt legal course of action to push back the last date of admissions to medical and technical institutions.
In normal course, the last date for admissions to engineering institutions is August 15 and for medical colleges August 31.
The UGC had also set up an experts committee headed by IGNOU Vice Chancellor Nageshwar Rao on online education. This panel is in favour of adopting online examinations in view of the educational infrastructure, the diverse range of higher education institutions and local influences.