In a move to safeguard students in view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the Karnataka state government has taken a decision to promote all intermediate semester students pursuing degree and post-graduation courses including engineering, and diploma courses for the academic year 2019-20 without examinations.

An official statement from Deputy Chief Minister’s office said the government also decided that examinations for the final semester students would be conducted before the end of September 2020, as per UGC guidelines.

The University Grants Commission (UGC), higher education regulator, released fresh guidelines recently, saying the end-of-term exams in universities can be held by September-end.

Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Higher Education Dr Ashwath Narayan CN added that the decision will be limited to the academic year 2019-20 only.

“The Government mulled on conducting offline classes and examinations too, but owing to increase in the viral spread those thoughts have been dropped and it has been decided to pass and promote all intermediate semester students. Concerned Universities have been intimated to conduct examinations for all the final year/semester students” Dr Ashwath Narayan added.

The government has taken this decision after consulting educationalists and university vice chancellors, taking into consideration students’ health, well being and future, and the Governor of Karnataka has given his assent for the same, the statement said.

While responding to the government’s decision, former Congress CM Siddaramaiah urged both Central and State governments to cancel all the examinations.

“It is extremely to important to understand the impact of conducting exams during pandemic. The risk of infection will increase. I urge both Central & State governments to cancel all the examinations. I also request the govt to waive one semester fees for all,” he tweeted.

https://twitter.com/siddaramaiah/status/1281536377658601472

How to pass and promote?

“Intermediate semester students will be assessed based on a comprehensive evaluation scheme with internal assessment marks and previous year’s/semester’s marks considered in a 50:50 ratio. For students in their first semester/year, the evaluation will be completely based on internal assessment marks”, Dr Ashwath Narayan explained.

“If students feel to better their scores, provisions will be made for them to face examinations during the next semester and students who fail to succeed in the comprehensive evaluation process shall face examinations for respective subjects during the next semester. Backlog subjects will be allowed to carry over as well”, the Deputy CM further added.

Why conduct examinations for final semester students?

Dr Ashwath Narayan said the final semester exams will be conducted with due consideration given to students’ academic evaluation and their future lives.

“Academic evaluation forms the core of the higher education system and hence academic performance of students needs to be considered. Companies too will base their assessments on an individual student’s academic excellence and grades he/she secured. Thus, it would be pushing the students to danger in the future if examinations were not to be conducted now. In this regard, all universities have been informed to prepare themselves and make suitable arrangements for the conduct of final semester examinations”, he said.

Online classes to begin from September 1, 2020

“Online classes for the academic year 2020-21 will begin from September 1 and offline classes from October 1. All universities and affiliated colleges have been directed to make suitable arrangements in that regard, already”, the Deputy CM said.

A helpline number (080-22341394) has been setup for the concerns of the students.

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