On 29th April 2020, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the UGC released recommendations for exams and academic calendars to the universities.
The Expert Panel was requested to review the guidelines on final semester examinations of universities in view of the emerging situation relating to the COVID-19 pandemic in India and the increasing number of cases in the country.
The UGC agreed to hold the final year university examinations by the end of September 2020 after a conference which was held on the evening of 6 July. This decision has been given mixed opinions by the Expert Committee.
JNU Vice-Chancellor Mamidala Jagadish Kumar welcomed the proactively student-friendly initiative in a video statement.
UGC has allowed the universities to perform their end-of – semester exams either online , offline or combined. JNU VC says that, for example, in JNU, we perform online examinations for students who are unable to use the internet, examinations will take place as soon as students are returned to campus and, in view of the pandemic, the situation in the country could not have been better off.
On the other hand, students from the university received a lot of flak. In a video address, Sai Balaji, former JNUSU Chief, challenged the MHRD, MHA and UGC in movement. He poses serious concerns about the risk of viral transmission when students return to the campus to perform written exams. He also doubts how the students will get to the campus when all public transport is shut down and JNU students from all around the country.
The whole of the India Students Association condemned the UGC move and also called on university students to stand together in this pandemic struggle, because nothing is more important.
However, the UGC has also provided for tests in particular situations to provide the student’s community with greater support for the pandemic situation. Should a final grade student not be allowed to take the exam of the university on the basis of any reasons, he or she may be able to take special exams on those courses or papers which may be carried out by the university, if practicable, in order to prevent the student from being put at a disadvantage or inconvenience.
The above provisions shall only apply as a single measure for the present 2019-20 academic session.