Bengaluru, July 10: In a big relief to students due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the Karnataka state government has decided 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.
However, the examinations for the final semester students would be conducted before the end of September 2020, as per UGC guidelines.
The government clarified that the Karnataka Common Entrance Test (KCET)- 2020 examination for admissions to Engineering, Pharmacy, Pharma D and other courses will be held on the decided dates of July 30 and 31.
The government has taken this decision to promote students after consulting educationists and university vice chancellors, taking into consideration students’ health, well- being and future, also UGC guidelines have also been duly taken into account, Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan’s office said in a release.
The decision will be limited to the academic year 2019-20 only, it said.
“COVID-19 has disrupted the education system – classes could not be held on time. Online learning introduced during the lockdown has received good responses and the government promptly tried its best to reach the last person in the chain,” Narayan said.
Stating that the government mulled conducting offline classes and examinations too, he said, “but owing to the 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.”
The Deputy Chief Minister said 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, and for students in their first semester/year, the evaluation will be completely based on internal assessment marks.
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, he said adding that backlog subjects will be allowed to be carried over as well.
Further noting that the final semester exams will be conducted with due consideration given to students’ academic evaluation and their future lives, Narayan said 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,” he said.
All universities have been informed to prepare themselves and make suitable arrangements for the conduct of final semester examinations, he added.
The Deputy Chief Minister made it clear that online classes for the academic year 2020-21 will begin from September 1 and offline classes from October 1, and all universities and affiliated colleges have been directed to make suitable arrangements in that regard.
The UGC’s revised guidelines have caused fresh anxiety in the states with several including Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab and West Bengal openly stating that they will not be able to hold exams. Gujarat, which had put exams on hold, is now making arrangements to conduct them in the states.