NEW DELHI: Indian universities and colleges will have to start classes for fresh undergraduate and post graduate students latest by 1 October, the university grants commission has said in a new circular to higher educational institutions.

As per the circular, higher educational institutions will start admission process once school boards including the Central Board of Secondary Education announce their results by 31 July.

UGC has asked institutions to complete admission process for UG and PG programmes via “online/offline/blended mode” depending on the ground situation with regard to covid-19 pandemic in various parts of the country. The deadline for completing fresh admissions has been kept at 30 September.

The apex education regulator has, however, asked varsities and colleges to commence “classes for intermediate semester/year students in online/offline/blended mode” as soon as possible.

“Further, the Terminal Semester/ Final Year Examinations (2020-2021) be compulsorily conducted in offline (pen and paper)/ online/ blended (online + offline) mode by no later than August 31, 2021 following the prescribed protocols related to the Covid-19 pandemic,” the UGC has said.

It added that for intermediate semester and intermediate year students, assessment shall be based on internal evaluation and previous semester as suggested in 2020.

Giving some freedom to institutions, UGC has said “if there is a delay in declaration of result of the qualifying examinations, higher education institutions may plan and start the academic session by October 18, 2021.”

The teaching-learning process may continue in offline or online or via the blended mode and have asked colleges and varsities to plan for “breaks, conduct of examinations, semester break etc. during the period October 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022 following necessary protocols (and), advisories issued by the relevant union or state government authorities.

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