NEW DELHI: Universities may conduct semester exams in July either online or offline depending upon feasibility and the COVID-19 situation and reduce the exam duration from three hours to two hours, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has recommended.
Detailing the guidelines for examinations and academic calendar for universities in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the commission has said the exams for final semester students be conducted in July.
It has recommended that intermediate semester students may either be evaluated on the basis of internal assessment or in states where the COVID-19 situation has normalised, exams be conducted in July only.
The varsities may decide whether to conduct exams online or offline keeping in view the support system available with them and ensuring fair opportunity to all students.
"Universities may adopt alternative and simplified modes and methods of examinations to complete the process in shorter period of time. They may reducing the time from 3 hours to 2 hours," the UGC has said.
"They may conduct examinations in offline or online mode, as per their ordinances or rules and regulations, scheme of examinations, and must observe the guidelines of social distancing besides keeping in view the support system available with them and ensuring fair opportunity to all students," it added.
The commission has said in case the situation does not appear to be normal in view of COVID-19, the safety and health of students be prioritised and their grading could be composite of 50 per cent marks on the basis of internal evaluation and the remaining 50 per cent marks can be awarded on the basis of performance in the previous semester.
"The situation where previous semester or previous year marks are not available, particularly in the first year of annual pattern of examinations, 100 per cent 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 UGC has said if the student wishes to improve the grades, he or she may appear in special exams for such subjects during the next semester.
Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16 when the central government announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as one of the measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Later, a nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24, which has now been extended till May 3.
The UGC had formed two committees to deliberate on issues arising due to the lockdown to avoid academic loss and take appropriate measures for the future of students.
One of the committees led by Haryana University Vice-Chancellor R C Kuhad was formed to look into the ways of conducting exams in universities amid the lockdown and work on an alternate academic calendar.
The UGC has also notified in the guidelines that new academic session for freshers may begin in universities from September and for already enrolled students in August.
The admission process will begin in universities from August 1.