Kerala

Academic calendar plan may go awry

University Grants Commission mulling deferment of next academic year to August/September

With the University Grants Commission (UGC) reportedly mulling deferment of next academic year to August/September, the State government’s tentative plan of commencing the year by July through fast-tracking the admission process may be thrown into disarray. Though the apex body is likely to frame its guidelines this week, the Centre’s decision on lifting the lockdown would have a bearing on the plan.

Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel fears that any possible delays in resuming the academic activities in colleges and universities could affect the student community. All aspects would be taken into account before finalising the academic schedule. “We are still unable to predict how the existing crisis would unfold. If the situation persists, we could be hard-pressed to commence the academic year only by September,” he says.

Relaxation

Dr. Jaleel says the government would consider writing to the UGC seeking a relaxation of its directives if the lockdown restrictions are lifted in Kerala earlier than other States. The universities have tentatively planned to resume their examinations by the second week of May.

The State universities currently have a long way to go before commencing the academic year. Barring the University of Kerala which has completed its final-year examinations, none of the others are close to completing their undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) examinations.

The University of Kerala is yet to commence the regular second and sixth semester UG examinations and second and forth semester PG examinations.

Engineering colleges affiliated to the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University are yet to complete their contact classes and commence examinations. Same is the case of the Kerala University of Health Sciences.

Kerala State Higher Education Council member secretary Rajan Varughese says the completion of Class 12 examinations and Plus Two higher secondary Save-A-Year (SAY) examinations would also decide the commencement of the admission process for the academic year.

Split-vacation

Considering the universities were likely to have a crammed academic schedule next year, the possibility of adopting the split-vacation system could be explored. Besides, inordinate delays in the examination system should be prevented by assimilating advanced practices such as bar-coded answer sheets to do away with the time-consuming practice of false numbering, Dr. Varughese said.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 3:24:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/academic-calendar-plan-may-go-awry/article31458043.ece

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