If there is one thing that we will remember 2020 for is undoubtedly the pandemic. The novel coronavirus almost brought a chaotic halt to all our lives. Our academic community was no exception to COVID’s brutal hit. Students who had prepared all year long suddenly found themselves surrounded with endless uncertainty.
While the coronavirus doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, the ordinary lives needed to resume. Thus, after much chaos and confusion in the wake of COVID-19, University Grants Commission has finally released the revised academic calendar for the year 2020-21. The revised Academic calendar particularly entails to freshers, and is applicable tofirst year students of both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
All Indian Universities To Begin New Session From November 1
UGC has guided all Indian universities to begin classes for the first year students from November 1, 2020. UGC guidelines also entailed that there will be no summer breaks or winter breaks in this academic session. Furthermore, it has also asked universities and colleges to teach six days a week, without any summer or winter break until 2022 to compensate for the delay.
Notably, UGC had initially released an alternative academic calendar for colleges and universities in April as well. It suggested that the new academic calendar will be beginning in September. However, delay in holding various entrance exams and rising coronavirus cases in India made pushed the session further to November.
UGC issues revised Academic Calendar 2020-2021 for New Students
- October 31, 2020: Admission process completes
- November 1, 2020: Classes begin for 1st Semester
- March 1 – March 7, 2021: Preparation Break
- March 8 – March 26, 2021: 1st Semester Exams
- March 27 – April 4, 2021: Semester break
- April 5, 2021: 2nd Semester Classes Begin
- August 1 – August 8, 2021: Preparation Break
- August 9 – August 21, 2021: 2nd Semester Exams
- August 22 – August 29, 2021: Semester break
- August 30, 2021: Second academic year begins for Batch 2020
Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal also took to Twitter to share the finalised academic calendar for the new batch of academic year 2020-21.
Academic Session 2020-21 Likely to Begin Online
The graduating batch of 2020 had to do away with many of their much awaited moments of farewell and convocations to stay safe. We guess the agony is going to be shared by the freshers as well who will have to contend with the virtual welcomes alone.
Ministry of Home Affairsis expected to take a final call on physically reopening academic institutions soon. But, if it does not take any decision by November, universities and colleges will continue with their online classes. But, in a major change, odd semesters that usually ended in December will go until March 2021 for the current batch.
However, Hindustan Times report rightly noted that the new UGC guidelines have also led to confusion. To begin with, most colleges are confused on how they will manage the first batch and other senior year students simultaneously. But, it does seem likely that the freshers this year will probably have to follow a completely different calendar than their peers in second, third or final year.