Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, UGC directs to conduct final year, last semester exams by September end | KNO

Issues SOP for conduct of exams
Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, UGC directs to conduct final year, last semester exams by September end | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, July 10 (KNO): Amid surge in COVID-19 cases across Jammu and Kashmir, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked the University authorities to complete the examination process of terminal semester and final year examinations by September end. The UGC said that the exams can be held via offline that includes physical appearance of the students or through the online or blended mode following the prescribed protocols and guidelines related to COVID-19 pandemic. The newly revised guidelines, a copy of which lies with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) reads that UGC this month has issued revised guidelines on examinations and academic calendar for the universities in view of COVID-19 Pandemic. Moreover, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has also issued instructions for conduct of examinations wherein a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was formulated for conduct of examinations with measures to be taken in view of the ongoing situation, duly vetted by the Ministry of Health and Family welfare. UGC in the guidelines said, “In view of the emerging situation related to COVID-19 pandemic in India, it is important to safeguard the principles of health, safety, fair and equal opportunity for students. At the same time, it is very crucial to ensure academic credibility, career opportunities and future progress of students globally.” It further reads that the academic evaluation of students is very important milestone in any education system. “The performance in examinations gives confidence and satisfaction to the students and is a reflection of competence, performance and credibility that is necessary for global acceptability,” UGC said. “The universities are required to complete the examinations by the end of September in offline, online or blended mode following the prescribed protocols guidelines related to COVID-19 pandemic.” Stating the provision of examination through special chance, UGC said, “In case a student of terminal semester or final year is unable to appear in the examination conducted by the University for whatsoever the reasons may be given opportunity to appear in special examinations for such courses or papers.” “It may be conducted by the university when feasible, so that the student is not put to any inconvenience or disadvantage. The provision shall be applicable only for the current academic session 2019-20 as a one-time measure,” it reads. UGC said that the backlog of papers in respect of terminal semesters or final year students should compulsorily be evaluated by conducting examinations in offline, online or blended mode as per feasibility and suitability. “The guidelines regarding intermediate semester or year examinations will remain unchanged as notified in the previous guidelines,” it reads. SOP’s for conducting exams The UGC said that in case there is a restriction on movements in certain areas, admit or identity cards issued to the students should be treated as a pass for the movement of students. State Governments should issue instructions to all local authorities to issue movement passes to invigilators and all personnel engaged in the conduct of examination. Entire examination centre floors and walls, doors, gates, should be sprayed with disinfectant. Fresh mask and gloves to be used by exam functionaries after staff verification is done. Sanitizer bottles should be arranged at the entry gate, examination rooms, staff/observer room, etc. and should be replenished regularly. All liquid hand wash bottles should be replenished in restrooms and entry gate whenever required. Candidate seating area should be thoroughly sanitized after every session. All the washrooms should be cleaned and disinfected. All door handles, staircase railings, lift buttons, etcetera should be disinfected. Exam functionaries must submit self-declaration about health status. Thermo gun temperature check must be done at the staff entrance point. If any Examination functionary fails to meet the self-declaration criteria, or thermal gun check, he or she will be asked to leave the examination centre immediately. Exam functionary needs to wear the mask and gloves at all time Wherever possible, students should be given fresh face masks by the Invigilators in the examination room itself. Avoid crowding at entry and exit points. “Senior staff should monitor the entry and exit. There should be proper markings with at least two meter distance where students stand while waiting for the opening of the college gate. Exit of students should be permitted one by one only. Thermal Screening of students, wearing of face mask, sanitizing of hands etcetera be ensured. The students should be asked to sanitize their hands before and after signing the Attendance Sheet,” the SOPs read. “Students having symptoms of fever, cough and cold should be either made to sit in a separate room or given a chance to appear on another day—(KNO)