Union Minister of Education Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, in a meeting held on 22nd September 2020, announced the University Grants Commission (UGC) Guidelines on Academic Calendar for the 2020-21 Session. These are for the first-year undergraduate and postgraduate students of the universities considering the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the meeting held on 21st September 2020, the Commission approved the UGC Guidelines on the academic calendar for the first year session 2020-21, taking into account the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Admissions to the first-year programs for the upcoming session will be completed by the end of October 2020. The academic session 2020-21 may commence from 1st November 2020 for the first-year students.
Key Pointers to Note:
According to the official notification released by the UGC on the current year academic calendar, the following points stand as most crucial:
- UGC has directed all universities and colleges to wrap up the new academic session’s admission procedure by 31st October 2020.
- Following this, the new academic session must commence on 1st November 2020.
- Preparatory break for examination from 1st March 2021 to 7th March 2021.
- Semester examinations to begin from 8th March 2021 to 26th March 2021.
- Semester breaks from 27th March 2021 to 4th April 2021.
- Commencement of classes for new/even semester from 5th April 2021.
- Preparatory break for examination from 1st August 2021 to 8th August 2021.
- Even semester examinations to begin from 9th August 2021 to 21st August 2021.
- Semester break is to start from 22nd August 2021 to 29th August 2021.
- The next academic session will commence on 20th August 2021.
Keeping in mind the financial crisis through which people are going due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UGC has decided to make certain amendments for the current academic year. The changes introduced are that a full refund of fees will be made based on all cancellation of admissions/migration of students, up to 30th November 2020.
UGC emphasized that the entire fees, including all charges, will be refunded in totality (zero cancellation charges) on cancellation/migration up to 30th November 2020. Therefore, on cancellation/withdrawal of admissions up to 31st December 2020, the entire fee collected will be refunded in full after deduction of no more than INR 1000/- as processing fee.
Owing to Unlock 4, which has already started nationwide, many states, including Tamil Nadu, Haryana, and Bihar, have allowed state-run colleges and universities to begin classes in the coming weeks. As per the guidelines laid down for Unlock 4, schools and colleges are permitted to resume operations only if necessary.
Further, the classes will be allowed to function only after the authorities have fulfilled all the COVID-19 safety protocols. The students don’t need to attend classes, and even if they want to do so, they would be required to produce a consent form their parents or guardians, which should be duly signed. No student or staff from the containment zone will be allowed to take classes. Candidates who wish to seek guidance from their teachers/mentors must follow the timetable published by the respective institutions.