Tuesday, March 28

Varsities look at academic session start from October in Kolkata

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The West Bengal Vice-Chancellors’ Council has sent a proposal to the state, suggesting that colleges and universities remain closed till June 30. Because of this, several VCs estimate that the first-year classes in the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes can only begin from October, delaying the academic session further.

Many VCs claimed universities, which had planned to evaluate the terminal semester students based on assessments, projects, CGPA and online viva in the last week of June, will have to push back the assessments.

“Beginning the session from October will also mean curtailing the syllabus. There is no clarity on the subject yet as the UGC is yet to make any suggestions regarding the syllabus,” said a VC, adding, “We will also have to re-frame the academic calendar of 2020-2021. Holding the semester examinations according to schedule won’t be possible in the upcoming semester since it will begin later.”

Students, on the other hand, are afraid of losing a year. “There won’t be parity among universities across the country. If the academic session resumes from September in other states, as suggested by the UGC, I won’t be able to apply outside without the terminal semester marksheet, which is unlikely to arrive in time due to the delay in the examinations in Bengal universities,” said a student.

A higher education department official pointed out that in such a scenario, the VCs will have to write to the UGC seeking intervention to allow provisional admission to students from Bengal. Educationists also predicted that owing to the delay in the terminal semester examinations in UG, there will be less migration to other states at the Masters’ level. “There will be more students enrolling in the PG seats in Bengal,” he said.

Education minister Partha Chatterjee expressed interest to meet the VCs to finalize the examination dates and formulae in the UG and PG terminal semester examinations, along with other pending semesters. “We have given the universities autonomy to take a call on reopening and conducting examinations,” he said.

“We have also requested the VC council to provide us with a draft guideline of the choice based credit system, which will be implemented uniformly by the education department,” Chatterjee added.

“If we are permitted to return to campus in July, then we will have to sanitize the campus within a week, followed by classroom teaching in batches to complete the syllabus. We will also have to hold the examinations and prepare for admissions,” a VC said.


Source: Times of India

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