UGC Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar Universities - COVID-19

UGC Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities in View of COVID-19. UGC Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities in View of COVID-19 and Subsequent Lockdown; Guidelines issued in presence of Union HRD Minister
In view of Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the University Grants Commission constituted an Expert Committee to deliberate and make recommendations on the issues related to the Examinations and the Academic Calendar to avoid academic loss and take appropriate measures for the future of students.
These UGC guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities in View of COVID-19 Pandemic and Subsequent Lockdown were issued in presence of Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' in New Delhi today. Secretary, Higher Education, MHRD Shri Amit Khare and senior officials of the Ministry and UGC were present on the occasion.

UGC Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar Universities - COVID-19

The following are the main recommendations in the guidelines issued by UGC today
  • 1. Intermediate Semester Students: Will be graded based on internal assessment of the present and previous semester. In states where the COVID-19 situation has normalized, there will be exams in the month of July.
  • 2. Terminal Semester Students: exams will be held in the month of July.
  • 3. A COVID-19 cell will be constituted in every university which will be empowered to solve the issues of students related to academic calendar and examinations.
  • 4. A COVID-19 cell in the UGC to be created for faster decision making.
The highlights of the Guidelines are as under:
  • Guidelines are advisory in nature.
  • University may chart out its own plan of action taking into consideration the issues pertaining to COVID – 19 Pandemic
  • Ensure Social Distancing.


1. The following calendar is suggested for the academic session 2019-2020:
The Academic Calendar is suggestive in nature. The universities may adopt / adapt it after making a comprehensive assessment of their level of preparedness, residential status of the students, status of COVID-19 pandemic spread in their city / region / state and other factors.
Start of Even Semester 01.01.2020
Suspension of Classes 16.03.2020
Continuation of Teaching-Learning through various modes such as Online Learning / Distance Learning / Social Media (WhatsApp / YouTube) / E-mails / Video Conferencing / Mobile Apps / SWAYAMPRABHA Channels on DTH etc. 16.03.2020 to 31.05.2020
Finalisation of Dissertation/ Project Work/ Internship Reports/ E-labs/ Completion of Syllabus/ Internal Assessment/ Assignment/ Students Placement Drive etc. 01.06.2020 to 15.06.2020
Summer Vacations # 16.06.2020 to 30.06.2020
Conduct of Examinations:
(i) Terminal Semester/ Year
(ii) Intermediate Semester/Year
01.07.2020 to 15.07.2020
16.07.2020 to 31.07.2020
Evaluation and Declaration of Result:
(i) Terminal Semester/ Year
(ii) Intermediate Semester/ Year
  • # - If situation so demands, the universities can have Summer Vacations for 30 days from 01-06-2020 to 30-06-2020. In that case the teaching-learning through various modes can be held up to 15-05-2020 and subsequently Finalization of Dissertation etc. may be completed from 16-05-2020 to 31-05-2020.
  • 2. The universities should develop a fool-proof plan before the resumption of session, strictly following the norms of “social distancing” and other required precautions, to avoid any eventuality arising due to COVID-19.
  • 3. Admissions to the UG and PG programmes for the session 2020-21 may be completed by 31.08.2020. If necessity arises, provisional admissions may also be made and relevant documents of qualifying examination may be accepted up to 30.09.2020.

Academic Year 2020-21

4. The Academic Session 2020-21 may commence from 01.8.2020 for old students and from 01.09.2020 for fresh students. The following calendar is suggested for the academic session 2020-2021:
Admission Process 01.08.2020 to 31.08.2020
Commencement of Classes
i. Students of 2nd/ 3rd year
ii. Fresh batch (First Semester/Year)
Conduct of Examinations 01.01.2021 to 25.01.2021
Commencement of Classes for Even Semester 27.01.2021
Dispersal of Classes 25.05.2021
Conduct of Examinations 26.05.2021 to 25.06.2021
Summer Vacations 01.07.2021 to 30.07.2021
Commencement of Next Academic Session 02.08.2021
  • Universities may adopt alternative and simplified modes and methods of examinations to complete the process in shorter period of time .
  • Universities may adopt efficient and innovative modes of examinations by reducing the time from 3 hours to 2 hours.
  • Universities may conduct Terminal / Intermediate Semester / Year examinations in offline / online mode, as per their Ordinances/Rules and Regulations, Scheme of Examinations, observing the guidelines of “social distancing” and keeping in view the support system available with them and ensuring fair opportunity to all students.
  • Terminal semester/ year examinations for PG/ UG courses/ programmes may be conducted by universities as suggested in the academic calendar. The timing of the examination may be considered appropriately by the universities, and examination may be conducted keeping in mind the guidelines of “social distancing”.
  • For intermediate semester/year students, the universities may conduct examinations,after making a comprehensive assessment of their level of preparedness, residential status of the students, status of COVID-19 pandemic spread in different regions / state and other factors.
  • In case the situation does not appear to be normal in view of COVID-19, in order to maintain “social distancing”, safety and health of the students, grading of the students could be composite of 50% marks on the basis of the pattern of internal evaluation adopted by the universities and the remaining 50% marks can be awarded on the basis of performance in previous semester only (if available). The internal evaluation can be continuous evaluation, prelims, mid-semester, internal evaluation or whatever name is given for student progression.
  • In the situations where previous semester or previous year marks are not available, particularly in the first year of annual pattern of examinations, 100% evaluation may be done on the basis of internal assessments.
  • If the student wishes to improve the grades, he/she may appear in special exams for such subjects during next semester.
  • This provision for intermediate semester examinations is only for the current academic session (2019-20) in view of COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining safety and health of all the stakeholders and sanctity and quality of examinations.
  • Period of lockdown may be treated as ‘deemed to be attended’ by all the students/ research scholars.
  • Adopt appropriate strategies to facilitate the UG/ PG students pursuing Projects/ Dissertations. Universities may consider to assign review-based/ secondary data-based projects or software-driven projects, instead of laboratory-based experiments or field/ survey-based assignments to these students.
  • The universities may conduct the practical examinations and Viva-Voce Examinations through Skype or other meeting apps, and in case of intermediate semesters, the practical examinations may be conducted during the ensuing semesters.
  • The universities may conduct the Ph.D. and M. Phil. Viva -Voce Examinations through Video Conferencing using Google, Skype, Microsoft Technologies or any other reliable and mutually convenient technology.
  • Extension of six months period to the M.Phil.or Ph.D. students.
  • Every University shall establish a cell for handling student grievances related to examinations and academic activities during COVID-19 pandemic and notify effectively to the students.
  • The UGC will establish a Help Line for monitoring student grievances related to examinations and academic activities during COVID-19 pandemic
3. Modes of Examinations
  • Like the modes of teaching-learning, most of the universities follow the physical mode of examinations, with a few exceptions. On this aspect also, some of the universities lack adequate IT infrastructure for conducting online examinations. The hiring of private agencies for conducting online examinations also does not seem feasible in view of the fact that examinations are to be conducted simultaneously by all the universities. Therefore, keeping in view the basic infrastructure available at the level of the institutions and accessibility of internet to the students, especially in remote areas, it is not feasible to uniformly adopt the online mode of examination at this juncture.
4. Academic Calendar for the Session 2020-21
  • Several School Boards are yet to complete their Class XII Examinations, as of now. Examinations for the Even Semester in the universities are also getting delayed due to national lockdown. Naturally, all these things will delay the admission process in the university system for the next academic session. In order to tackle this situation, the universities may require some amendments in their academic calendar for the academic session 2020-21.