New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released guidelines on examinations and academic calendar for the universities in view of covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
As per the New Calendar, the semester exams in July and opening of colleges & universities in August 2020. The classes for second and third year students will begin from August 1. Meanwhile, the fresh batch for first semester will join classes from 01 September 2020. Examinations will be conducted from January 1, 2021, till January 25.
Here SkillOutlook presents key changes in PhD norms proposed by the UGC amid COVID 19.
Extension of six months period to the MPhil or PhD students: The MPhil or PhD students, whose maximum period for submission of MPhil/ Ph.D. Dissertation/ Thesis prescribed under relevant rules/ regulations/ ordinances of the concerned universities is expired/ expiring during the Corona pandemic period, may be allowed to submit their Dissertation/ Thesis, including completion of pending formalities, within six months from the date of expiry of regular prescribed period.
The extension of six months may also be considered for those students who are yet to submit their Dissertation/ Thesis.
PhD Viva -Voce Exams Via Video Conferencing: 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, subject to the approval of the concerned statutory authority of the university, in compliance of Clause 9.6 to 9.9 of the UGC Regulations, 2016 regarding award of M. Phil / Ph.D. Degree.
While conducting the Viva-Voce Examination through Video Conferencing using electronic means, it may be ensured that it will be open to be attended by members of the Research Advisory Committee, all faculty members of the department, research scholars and other interested experts/ researchers, besides the Research Supervisor and Expert(s)/Examiner(s), as applicable.
It is also imperative on the part of the university to maintain due record of the same, including the report signed by Expert(s)/ Examiner(s) appointed for conducting the same.
Like teaching, research has also suffered during the lockdown period as the laboratories are closed. It would be appropriate that during the period of lockdown, laboratories are maintained by the research staff/ teachers of the concerned department(s) on rotation basis, without violating the norms of “social distancing”.
However, the universities may take appropriate decision to allow PIs/ Ph.D. scholars and Post-Doctoral Fellows to maintain labs/ conduct research, with strict compliance of the guidelines/ directives issued by the appropriate authorities/ Governments from time to time.
Regarding the requirement of minimum percentage of attendance for the students/ research scholars, the period of lockdown may be treated as ‘deemed to be attended’ by all the students/ research scholars.