Colleges must begin classes for first-year students in November and wrap up the admission process by the end of October as part of the new academic calendar approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC), Union Minister of Education Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Said on Tuesday, 22 September.
In this new arrangement, the first year would be wrapped up in a span of nine months starting from November 2020 and the next academic session would begin on 30 August 2021.
In a tweet, Dr Pokhriyal said that “In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has accepted the Report of the Committee and approved the UGC Guidelines on Academic Calendar for the First Year of Under-Graduate and Post-Graduate Students of the Universities for the Session 2020-21.”
According to the new academic calendar tweeted by Pokhriyal, students would be entitled to a preparation break of seven days from 1 to 7 March 2021 and examinations would begin from 8 March and continue till 26 March 2021.
Classes for the next semester would begin from 5 April, following an eight-day semester break from 27 March to 4 April.
Exams for the even semester would be held from 9 to 21 August and the next academic session would begin on 30th of the same month.
Dr Pokhriyal also said that in order “to avoid financial hardship being faced by the parents due to lockdown and related factors, a full refund of fees will 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.”
In April this year, the UGC had released an alternate academic calendar, in which classes for first-year students were scheduled to begin from 1 September. In the same academic calendar, universities were advised to conduct final-year exams between 1 to 15 July.
In July, the UGC issued fresh guidelines asking all universities to conduct final-year exams by the end of September.
These guidelines were challenged in the Supreme Court, which in August said that states cannot pass final-year university students without exams.
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