Bengaluru: The Karnataka Higher Education Department has decided to promote all undergraduate and postgraduate intermediate semester students, subject to certain conditions, and mandated varsities to complete final-year exams by September for the academic year 2019-20, an official said on Friday.
“The universities are required to complete the examinations for final-year students by September-end in offline (pen and paper) or online or blended (online and offline) mode, following the prescribed protocols related to Covid-19 pandemic,” said a department official.
It is optional for the universities to conduct classes before the examinations to cover the pending syllabus.
However, all the final-year students with backlogs should be compulsorily evaluated by conducting examinations in offline, online or blended modes.
In the event of final-year students failing to sit in the exams for whatever reasons, they should be offered an opportunity to appear in the next exams when the university conducts them to avoid any disadvantage to the students.
“The above provision shall be applicable only for the current academic session 2019 – 2020 as a one-time measure,” said the official.
In the case of students in intermediate semesters, they will be promoted to higher semester based on grading — which will be a composite of 50 per cent marks based on the internal evaluation by universities and another 50 per cent marks based on previous semester’s only, if available.
“In the situations where previous semester or previous year marks are not available, particularly in the first year of annual pattern of examinations, 100 per cent evaluation may be done on the basis of internal evaluation,” said the official.
Students interested in improving grades may appear in examinations for such subjects in the next semester.
Allowing carry forward of failed subjects, the students will be promoted to the next semester but the higher education department has mandated that such students should clear those subjects whenever next examinations are held.
Meanwhile, the next academic session 2020-21 will be allowed to start online tentatively from September 1 for first and higher semesters and in offline mode from October 1, or as guided by the government.
Others directions to the varsities include safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders and giving the highest priority to health and safety.
Students should be informed at a week before examinations and while considering the minimum attendance period, lockdown period may be treated as ‘deemed to be attended’ by all.
“Universities may consider to assign review-based or secondary data-based projects or software-driven projects instead of laboratory-based experiments or field survey assignments, an official said.
Similarly, universities are also allowed to conduct practical examinations and viva-voce through Skype or other meeting apps and for intermediate semester students, practical examinations may be conducted in the ensuing semesters.
Every university has also been asked to establish a cell for handling student grievances related to examinations and academic activities during the COVID pandemic to effectively notify the students, said the official.
“COVID has jolted the education system. The cardinal concern of the government was to safeguard the future of our student friends while keeping them away from contracting infections and keep them in good health,” said Deputy Chief Minister and Higher Education Minister C.N. Ashwathnarayan.