Millennium Post

Classes 6 days a week from November 1; winter & summer breaks to be shorter

New Delhi: The Union Education Ministry on Tuesday released the academic session calendar for undergraduate and post-graduate students. The delayed academic session for all the universities is scheduled to begin from November 1 for which the admission process has to be completed by October 31. Moreover, the ministry has curtailed holidays, including winter break and summer vacation in 2021, to compensate for the time lost.

The guidelines by an expert committee, set up for revising the academic calendar in view of COVID-19 pandemic, have been accepted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and universities have been recommended a six-day teaching-learning schedule every week accordingly.

"In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has accepted the Report of the Committee and approved the UGC guidelines on the academic calendar for the first year of under-graduate and post-graduate students of the universities for the Session 2020-21," Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said in his tweet.

The UGC had in April released an alternative academic calendar for colleges to reopen, with guidelines on exams, mode of study and the schedule.

At that time, the plan was to reopen colleges from September, but it could not materialise due to a high rise in Coronavirus cases.

As per the revised calendar, the admission process for first-year students needs to be completed by October 31, and classes for the first semester should commence by November 1.

In order to compensate for the loss of academic time, the UGC has asked colleges to teach six days a week and shorten the winter break this year and the summer break next year.

"The universities are requested to compensate for the delay in the start of the academic session in the subsequent years by curtailing the breaks/vacations so that this batch of students would get their final results for the award of degree timely," the guidelines said.

"The start of the first year of the academic session 2020-2021 is delayed due to the circumstances beyond control but efforts are made to compensate the loss of this period by curtailing the breaks (summer, winter, etc). This would ensure that these students would timely complete their 3 year UG/ PG programme," the UGC stated in its guidelines.

"All the universities may follow a 6-day week pattern for the academic session 2020-21 and 2021-2022 to compensate the loss for this batch of students," it added.

Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16 when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shut down as part of measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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