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Colleges, universities set to open from November 1

First-year college students have to wait another month before colleges open in the country for this academic year.  The University Grants Commission (UGC) has said the 2020-21 session will begin from November 1 for first-year undergraduate and postgraduate college students. The UGC released a set of revised guidelines after the recommendation of the expert committee. No new admissions will be allowed after November 30, as per the revised academic calendar approved by the UGC on Monday.

The UGC is the statutory body of the Government of India, charged with coordination, determination, and maintenance of standards of higher education.

In the guidelines issued by the UGC, the varsities have been asked to complete the admission process by November 30, in case of delay the universities may start the session from November 18. The Commission has also asked educational institutions not to impose any cancellation charges for refunding the fee till November 30.

Earlier, on April 29, the UGC had asked universities to conduct all examinations from July 1 to July 15, declare results by the end of July, and the classes for the first-year students were also scheduled to begin from September 1. However, the schedule could not be followed due to a lack of infrastructure to conduct entrance examinations and the increasing Covid-19 cases.  Now, a revised academic schedule has been released.

Tweeting about the recent UGC guidelines, Union Education Minister Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Friday, said,

In view of the #COVID19 Pandemic, @ugc_india has issued guidelines on Examinations & Academic Calendar for UG & PG Students for the Session 2020-21.

He also mentioned a clause for easing the financial burden on parents,

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.

Coronavirus has had a severe impact on student’s examinations this year. Most entrance tests including the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) were postponed multiple times due to the Covid-19 outbreak. However, every college/university has been directed to follow the mandatory guidelines regarding academic activities in wake of the pandemic.

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With over 86,052 cases in the last 24 hours, India’s total Covid-19 cases zoomed past 58 lakh on Friday. The death toll climbed to 92,290, as per the latest tally released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The total recoveries have surged to 47,56,164.

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