Putting an end to months-long uncertainty regarding the final year university exams, the Supreme Court of India on Friday gave its final verdict on the UGC guidelines. The court had already allowed the National Testing Agency (NTA) to go ahead with its plan and conduct the JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020 examinations in September.

Universities across the country have geared up to conduct the remaining examinations. With mixed reactions for the conduct of examinations amid a pandemic, the last week of August was an eventful one.

From University to entrance examinations, here is a summary of the top education news of the week

JEE And NEET Exam Controversy

Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said that JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020 would be held in September as per schedule as students want the exams to be conducted “at any cost.”

NTA has said that sufficient arrangements have been made for conducting the entrance exams. While a number of politicians and ministers have opposed the idea of conducting the engineering and medical exams, BJP-ruled states, directors of IITs, have said that conducting JEE and NEET in September is crucial.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to postpone the JEE Main 2020 And NEET 2020 exams scheduled in September, as many parts of Odisha are in the grip of floods.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav also stood against the conduct of JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020 in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ministers of six opposition-ruled states have filed a review petition against the Supreme Court’s decision to conduct JEE and NEET exams amid the persisting coronavirus pandemic.

Supreme Court On UGC Guidelines And University Exams

The Supreme Court on Friday, during its final verdict on the UGC matter, said that final year university exams must be conducted. States, however, can ask the UGC for extension of its September 30 deadline.

Upholding the UGC decision to hold final year exams, a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said if any state feels they can’t conduct exams by September 30 amid the coronavirus pandemic, they can approach the commission for new dates to hold the exam.

The bench also comprising justices R S Reddy and M R Shah, said states are required to hold final year exams as per UGC guidelines, and for any exemption, they will have to seek permission.

“States can postpone final year exams under Disaster Management Act, but fresh dates have to be fixed in consultation with UGC,” the court said.

University Exams

The Delhi University, or DU, will hold the second phase of final-year and end-semester exams from September 14 for the students who were not able to sit for the open-book exams online held between August 10 and August 31.

The University of Kashmir will conduct the first-semester examination of undergraduate courses in online mode as per the guidelines put forth by the University Grants Commission.

In similar lines, West Bengal is weighing the pros and cons of holding final-year college and university exams in October.

Madhya Pradesh Government, however, said that the process of holding the final-year university examinations and result announcement would be over by September 30.

While the Haryana Education Minister Kanwar Pal assured the state assembly that the government would assess the coronavirus situation before allowing universities to hold exams for various courses.

Tamil Nadu has scrapped the intermediate semester exams of all the undergraduate and postgraduate students. The move to do away with the intermediate semesters and hold only the final semesters is in sync with the guidelines of the University Grants Commission and the All India Council for Technical Education, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami said.

CLAT 2020 Postponed

Amidst speculations and fake spread of news on CLAT postponement, the Consortium of National Law Universities indeed has postponed the Common Law Admission Test, or CLAT 2020, exam. CLAT 2020 exam will now be conducted on September 28.

The Bar Council of India has announced the exam date of AIBE 2020. The eligibility test of AIBE 2020 is scheduled for November 8. AIBE 2020, earlier, was scheduled to be held on August 16.

Review Meeting By Education Minister

In a series of review meetings held, the Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ in a review meeting of Samagra Shiksha, or the Integrated Scheme for School Education, with senior officials of the ministry suggested bridging the social-gender gap among students.

Mr. Pokhriyal, in another review meeting, has advised the National Bal Bhawan, New Delhi, to organize children’s awards at a national level to encourage their overall development.

The Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has asked officials of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) to take steps to “increase the transparency” of the institute in a review meeting.

Schools And Colleges Reopening

Online classes for school students in Telangana will begin from September 1, 2020. In a meeting, the Council of Ministers had previously approved the commencement of admission and the start of online classes for school students, an official statement said. The classes slated from September 1 will be broadcasted through digital and television platforms.

Odisha Government might reopen schools by the end of October-end. The School and Mass Education Department, Odisha, has also reduced the syllabus for Classes 1 to 12 for the 2020-21 session by 30 percent. As per reports, the decision to reduce the syllabus has been made with the approval of three committees set up for the purpose.

However, the Karnataka Government will start the online classes in degree colleges from September 1 and offline or regular classes to start from October.

In Other News

Pandemic Management will be part of the MBBS syllabus. The Medical Council of India has decided to introduce the Pandemic Management module to ensure that MBBS students acquire competencies in handling not only the illness but also the social, legal, and other issues arising from the outbreak of such diseases.

The Indira Gandhi National Open University, or IGNOU, has started a new BSc (Hons) program in Biochemistry, from July 2020 session, in online and distance learning (ODL) mode.

Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT), Odisha, and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has signed an agreement to set up a Space Innovation-cum-Incubation Centre at the university to promote space research.

To continue learning amid the closure of schools due to COVID-19, the School Education Department of Madhya Pradesh has issued a time table for students of Classes 1 to 8 as part of Humara Ghar- Humara Vidyalaya program. As part of this alternative time table, teachers will have telephonic conversations with the school students to ascertain the students’ progress and also conduct classes so that no students are left behind.

A school in Maharashtra’s Solapur city has found a new way to impart education. Around 300 outer walls of various houses in the Nilamnagar area of Solapur have been painted with simplified lessons from textbooks of various subjects of Classes 1 to 10.

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