COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

The University Grants Commission framed and issued Guidelines for the universities and colleges for reopening their campuses.

These Guidelines have been vetted by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Education. The Guidelines may be adopted by the institutions as per the local conditions and directives of the Government authorities.

The Universities and Colleges outside the containment zones may be opened in a graded manner after consultations with concerned State/UT Governments and subject to adherence to the guidelines/SOP for safety and health protocol prepared by UGC, as under:

  1. For Centrally Funded Higher Education Institutions, the Head of the Institution should satisfy herself/himself regarding the feasibility of the opening of physical classes and decide accordingly.
  2. For all other Higher Educational Institutions, e.g., State Universities, Private Universities, Colleges etc., opening of physical classes to be done as per the decision of the respective State/UT Governments.
  3. Universities and colleges may plan opening the campuses in phases, with such activities where they can easily adhere to social distancing, use of face masks and other protective measures This may include administrative offices, research laboratories and libraries etc.
  4. Thereafter, students of all research programmes and post-graduate students in science & technology programmes may join as the number of such students is comparatively less and norms of physical distancing and preventive measures can be easily enforced.
  5. Further, final year students may also be allowed to join for academic and placement purposes, as per the decision of the head of the institution.

However, for (iii), (iv) and (v) above, it should be ensured that not more than 50% of the total students should be present at any point of time and necessary guidelines/protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are in place.

  1. For the programmes, other than those mentioned in paras (iv) and (v) above, online/distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.
  2. However, if required, students may visit their respective departments in a small number for consultation with the faculty members, after seeking prior appointments to avoid crowding, while maintaining physical distancing norms and other safety protocols.
  3. Some students may opt not to attend classes and prefer to study online while staying at home. Institutions may provide online study material and access to e-resources to such students for teaching-learning.
  4. Institutions should have a plan ready for such international students who could not join the programme due to international travel restrictions or visa-related issues. Online teaching-learning arrangements should also be made for them.
  5. Hostels may be opened only in such cases where it is necessary while strictly observing the safety and health preventive measures. However, the sharing of rooms may not be allowed in hostels. Symptomatic students should not be permitted to stay in the hostels under any circumstances.
  6. Before the reopening of any campus, the Central or concerned State Government must have declared the area safe for opening of educational institutions. The directions, instructions, guidelines and orders issued by the Central and concerned State Government regarding safety and health in view of COVID-19 must be fully abided by the higher education institutions.

These Guidelines provide in detail the measures to be taken by Higher Educational Institutions before re-opening of campuses. It also describes the safety measures to be taken by HEIs at Entry/Exit Point(s), in the classrooms and other learning sites, inside the campus and in the Hostels. Guidance for counselling and mental health is also provided in this document.

Earlier, the University Grants Commission issued “Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities in View of COVID-I9 Pandemic and Subsequent Lockdown” on 29th April, 2020 and then, on 6th July, 2020. These Guidelines covered important dimensions related to examinations, academic calendar, admissions, online teaching-learning, and provided flexibility for adoption by the universities.

Later, “UGC Guidelines on Academic Calendar for the First Year of Under-Graduate and Post-Graduate Students of the Universities for the Session 2020-21 in View of COVID-19 Pandemic” were issued on 24th September, 2020.

Click here for the detailed UGC guidelines for Re-opening the Universities and Colleges Post Lockdown

Click here for the salient features of UGC guidelines for Re-opening the Universities and Colleges Post Lockdown


Ministry of Education

[Press Release dt. 05-11-2020]

[Source: PIB]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, JJ has dismissed an appeal against the Allahabad High Court order refusing to interfere in the matter relating to the regulation of fees structure in Universities and Central Institutions

The plea filed by a law student pursuing LLM at Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, IIT Kharagpur seeking issuance of directions to the Ministry of Education and University Grant Commission for framing guidelines to regulate the fees structure considering the lack of unanimity in structuring fees resulting into institutions charging full fees even for online classes.

The petition states,

“the tuition fee which will be charged by the institution amid online semester is not arbitrary but the other miscellaneous fee charged is indeed arbitrary.”

The petition highlighted that IIT Kharagpur issued the official notification to its students for starting the online semester tentatively from the last week of August and uploaded the full fees for its students in their institute’s login id and had instructed it to be paid before 27th July 2020. The impugned notification demands all the requisite fees charged against all other facilities which are provided viz. electricity, computer, library, Wi-Fi/ internet, laboratory, mess etc which are in no manner going to be utilized by the student during this period.

The key points highlighted by the petitioner in the petition were:

  • the action of the institution by charging more fees without service will be against the principle of rule of law. Every State Action must be informed by reason and it follows that an act uninformed by reason, is arbitrary. Rule of law contemplates governance by laws and not by humour, whims or caprices of the men to whom the governance is entrusted for the time being.
  • not providing any substantial guidelines will make the fee issues being unaddressed, resulting in charging more fees than expected, thereby leading to de-registration of students on non-payment of fees.
  • parents should not be made to pay for the services which have not been rendered by the schools. All schools, irrespective of whether they offered online classes during lockdown period or not, are only entitled to collect the tuition fee.
  • the salary of teaching and non-teaching staff should be paid even during the lockdown. The guidelines to be issued must be in consonance and proportionate with the salary to be paid to teaching staff and non-teaching staff.

The Supreme Court, however, refused to interfere in the matter and dismissed the SLP.

[Saransh Chaturvedi v. Union of India, special leave to appeal (c) no(s).10722/2020, order dated 25.09.2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Provisional admissions and submission of documents of qualifying examination

The period of conducting the final year/ terminal semester examinations has been extended up till the end of September 2020 in the UGC’s ‘Revised Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities in view of COVID-19 Pandemic’ dated 06-07-2020.

In the larger interest of the students, the universities/institutions (including Central  Universities) are advised to continue to grant provisional admissions, if students are otherwise eligible for such admissions as per the norms of the university/institution concerned where the admission is being sought, even after 30-09-2020 till revised guidelines on Academic Calendar are issued by the UGC.

Read the notification here: NOTIFICATION


University Grants Commission

Notice dt. 31-08-2020

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The Court had finally reserved it’s verdict in a batch of petitions filed by Final Year students challenging UGC’s revised guidelines dated 06.07.2020 regarding conduct of final year exams amidst COVID-19 crisis. It has given liberty to all the parties to file their written submissions, if any, within a period of 3 days.

UGC has, during the hearing, emphasised on the need to conduct the examinations as it is the crucial step in the academic career of a student.

“… it would be irrational to exempt students from final year/terminal semester examinations and to graduate them based on their past performance.”

Final Year Student Yash Dubey, who has also challenged the Revised Guidelines, along with 31 other students,  in his rejoinder, submitted that

“it is baffling to note that just one semester of examination will be determinative of the integrity and value of a degree for which students worked hard for six (for three years course) and to ten semesters (for five year course),…”

When the Court heard the matter on July 31, 2020, Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Yash Dubey, told the Court that Heavens will not fall if exams are not conducted. Dr Singhvi also submitted that “a Farman has been issued with complete non application of mind to complete exams by September 2020.”

Ministry of Home Affairs filed an affidavit and has said while the MHA Unlock-3 Guidelines dated 29.07.2020 continue to require schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions to remain closed till 31.08.2020, the universities/institutions will be and are clearly intended to be exempted from the said restriction for the limited purpose of holding Final Term Examinations / evaluation work in terms of the UGC guidelines on examinations.

Earlier, UGC had stated that the decision of the State Government to cancel final year/terminal semester examinations and graduate students without such examinations, encroaches on the legislative field of coordinating and determining the standards of higher education that is exclusively reserved for Parliament under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VH of the Constitution.

UGC submitted that

“it aims to protect the academic future of students across the country which will be irreparably damaged if their final year/terminal semester examinations are not held, while also keeping in mind their health and safety.”

Maharashtra Students’ Union, a non-profit organization working for welfare of students, more particularly students pursuing higher education, filed an Intervention Application in the plea challenging UGC’s revised guidelines dated 06.07.2020 regarding conduct of final year exams amidst COVID-19 crisis.

It submitted that a Bachelor’s degree is conferred on the basis of a collective assessment of all 3 years of a Bachelor’s course and not of the final semester alone. The affidavit states that

“the last examination or the final examination of students of Higher and Technical Education does not carry any special weightage or decisive value which a final year examination used to carry in the erstwhile education system, as the evaluation is done on a cumulative assessment of all semesters in a degree course.”


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State of Odisha has filed an affidavit in the plea challenging UGC’s revised guidelines dated 06.07.2020 regarding conduct of final year exams amidst COVID-19 crisis and has said that  the impugned Revised Guidelines of the university Grants commission fails to notice that the sanctity of such final examinations, if held, will be greatly compromised while holding the examinations inasmuch as:

(1) there will be single sitting examination for all subjects;

(2) the duration of the examinations will be short;

(3) the assessment will be made on the basis of multiple choice  questions in place of subjective questions;

(4) there might be unfair practices, which may include an open book examination etc taking into account the current COVID- 19 situation.

Therefore, the examinations should not be conducted just for the sake of conducting it.

The State also highlights that UGC has failed to take note of the Government of Odisha, Higher Education Department letter dated 18.06.2020 wherein the alternative evaluation method for Under Graduate and Post Graduate Final Year/Final Semester 2020 students was spelt out. Nor has it considered the letters dated 09.07.2020 and 23.07.2020 highlighting the various difficulties in the present COVID-19 scenario and requesting him to re-examine the entire issue and to allow the State Government to implement its own decision by not making the Revised Guidelines mandatory on the State Government.

The State submits that,

“State of Odisha is not shying away from holding the final examinations but only prays that during the present time the holding of final examinations should be kept in abeyance and the alternative evaluation system should be adopted.”

UGC, in its response, however, stated that the letter dated 18.06.2020 is in contravention to the Revised Guidelines and that any decision of State Government to cancel the exams or to graduate the students by using ‘alternative evaluation system’ will be in contravention of the UGC Revised Guidelines as UGC has taken a Policy Decision backed by the statute in the interest of students.

Ministry of Home Affairs filed an affidavit and has said while the MHA Unlock-3 Guidelines dated 29.07.2020 continue to require schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions to remain closed till 31.08.2020, the universities/institutions will be and are clearly intended to be exempted from the said restriction for the limited purpose of holding Final Term Examinations / evaluation work in terms of the UGC guidelines on examinations.

Earlier, in it’s response to the affidavit filed by the State of NCT of Delhi, UGC stated that Delhi’s decision to cancel final year/terminal semester examinations and graduate students without such examinations, encroaches on the legislative field of coordinating and determining the standards of higher education that is exclusively reserved for Parliament under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VH of the Constitution. As such, the State Government’s decision dated 11.07.2020 is contrary to the UGC’s Guidelines which have been issued for maintaining the standards of higher education and is void ab initio.

UGC submitted that

“it aims to protect the academic future of students across the country which will be irreparably damaged if their final year/terminal semester examinations are not held, while also keeping in mind their health and safety.”

Maharashtra Students’ Union, a non-profit organization working for welfare of students, more particularly students pursuing higher education, filed an Intervention Application in the plea challenging UGC’s revised guidelines dated 06.07.2020 regarding conduct of final year exams amidst COVID-19 crisis.

It submitted that a Bachelor’s degree is conferred on the basis of a collective assessment of all 3 years of a Bachelor’s course and not of the final semester alone. The affidavit states that

“the last examination or the final examination of students of Higher and Technical Education does not carry any special weightage or decisive value which a final year examination used to carry in the erstwhile education system, as the evaluation is done on a cumulative assessment of all semesters in a degree course.”

The 3-judge bench of Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, JJ, had on August 10, 2020, sought a reply on whether the Disaster Management Act can override the UGC’s guidelines and posted the matter for further hearing on August 14, 2020.

Maharashtra, in it’s affidavit, has mentioned that after deliberating on the issue at length, the State Disaster Management Authority constituted under the  Disaster Management Act, 2005 took the decision of not holding the last year final semester examinations for both professional and non-professional courses.

NCT of Delhi has submitted that the Deputy Chief Minister/Higher and Technical Education Minister of the National Capital Territory of Delhi has all Delhi State Universities to cancel all written online/offline semester examinations including final year examinationsUniversities have also been advised to devise alternative assessment measures to promote students of intermediary semesters and grant degrees to students of final semesters.

Regarding the decisions of certain State Governments to cancel the Final Year exams, UGC has, in it’s affidavit, stated that the said decision is contrary to UGC Guidelines and encroaches on Parliament’s power under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VII to coordinate and determine the standards of higher education.

UGC has also emphasised on the need to conduct the examinations as it is the crucial step in the academic career of a student.

“… it would be irrational to exempt students from final year/terminal semester examinations and to graduate them based on their past performance.”

Final Year Student Yash Dubey, who has also challenged the Revised Guidelines, along with 31 other students,  in his rejoinder, submitted that

“it is baffling to note that just one semester of examination will be determinative of the integrity and value of a degree for which students worked hard for six (for three years course) and to ten semesters (for five year course),…”

When the Court heard the matter on July 31, 2020, Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Yash Dubey, told the Court that Heavens will not fall if exams are not conducted.

On the last hearing i.e. on August 14, Dr Singhvi submitted that “a Farman has been issued with complete non application of mind to complete exams by September 2020.”

The Court is hearing the matter today.


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Supreme Court: After the MHA and UGC submitted their affidavits and yet again defended it’s Revised guidelines dated 06.07.2020 on the ground that the conduct the examinations as it is the crucial step in the academic career of a student and that the States had no authority to cancel the examinations, Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Yash Dubey, told the Court that  “a Farman has been issued with complete non application of mind to complete exams by September 2020.”

Highlights of Dr. Singhvi’s arguments

  • exams cannot be conducted when no teaching has taken place.
  • all the students are a part of one homogeneous group and that the students of final year cannot be treated differently from rest of the years.
  • minutes of meeting of 13th July filed by Maharashtra in its affidavit is very clear that more than 10 lac students will travel, arrange for meals, use public transport which will jeopardize them grossly.
  • parents and grandparents of the students, the most vulnerable to the virus, will also be exposed to it.
  • Most of us, including me, are doing it for free for this cause concerning students

Dr. Singhvi has concluded his arguments in the matter and the Court will now take up the matter on August 18, 2020.

Highlights of Advocate Malak Bhatt’s Submission

  • Stand taken by the MHRD and the UGC are not only contrary to the clear directions passed by the MHA under the National Disaster Management Act, but also far away from the harsh realities of the present pandemic situation.
  • UGC guidelines undermine the paramount concern of student health and safety and is clearly violative of rights under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
  • Directions to conduct exams through offline or online modes with a mandate to complete them by end-September is also far from reality on the infrastructural facilities available with rural universities in specific to conduct exams in such times

Yesterday, Ministry of Home Affairs filed an affidavit in the plea challenging UGC’s revised guidelines dated 06.07.2020 regarding conduct of final year exams amidst COVID-19 crisis and has said while the MHA Unlock-3 Guidelines dated 29.07.2020 continue to require schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions to remain closed till 31.08.2020, the universities/institutions will be and are clearly intended to be exempted from the said restriction for the limited purpose of holding Final Term Examinations / evaluation work in terms of the UGC guidelines on examinations.

Earlier, in it’s response to the affidavit filed by the State of NCT of Delhi, UGC stated that Delhi’s decision to cancel final year/terminal semester examinations and graduate students without such examinations, encroaches on the legislative field of coordinating and determining the standards of higher education that is exclusively reserved for Parliament under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VH of the Constitution. As such, the State Government’s decision dated 11.07.2020 is contrary to the UGC’s Guidelines which have been issued for maintaining the standards of higher education and is void ab initio.

UGC submitted that

it aims to protect the academic future of students across the country which will be irreparably damaged if their final year/terminal semester examinations are not held, while also keeping in mind their health and safety.”

Yesterday, Maharashtra Students’ Union, a non-profit organization working for welfare of students, more particularly students pursuing higher education, filed an Intervention Application in the plea challenging UGC’s revised guidelines dated 06.07.2020 regarding conduct of final year exams amidst COVID-19 crisis.

It submitted that a Bachelor’s degree is conferred on the basis of a collective assessment of all 3 years of a Bachelor’s course and not of the final semester alone. The affidavit states that

“the last examination or the final examination of students of Higher and Technical Education does not carry any special weightage or decisive value which a final year examination used to carry in the erstwhile education system, as the evaluation is done on a cumulative assessment of all semesters in a degree course.”

The 3-judge bench of Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, JJ, had on August 10, 2020, sought a reply on whether the Disaster Management Act can override the UGC’s guidelines and posted the matter for further hearing on August 14, 2020.

Maharashtra, in it’s affidavit, has mentioned that after deliberating on the issue at length, the State Disaster Management Authority constituted under the  Disaster Management Act, 2005 took the decision of not holding the last year final semester examinations for both professional and non-professional courses.

NCT of Delhi has submitted that the Deputy Chief Minister/Higher and Technical Education Minister of the National Capital Territory of Delhi has all Delhi State Universities to cancel all written online/offline semester examinations including final year examinationsUniversities have also been advised to devise alternative assessment measures to promote students of intermediary semesters and grant degrees to students of final semesters.

Regarding the decisions of certain State Governments to cancel the Final Year exams, UGC has, in it’s affidavit, stated that the said decision is contrary to UGC Guidelines and encroaches on Parliament’s power under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VII to coordinate and determine the standards of higher education.

UGC has also emphasised on the need to conduct the examinations as it is the crucial step in the academic career of a student.

“… it would be irrational to exempt students from final year/terminal semester examinations and to graduate them based on their past performance.”

Final Year Student Yash Dubey, who has also challenged the Revised Guidelines, along with 31 other students,  in his rejoinder, submitted that

“it is baffling to note that just one semester of examination will be determinative of the integrity and value of a degree for which students worked hard for six (for three years course) and to ten semesters (for five year course),…”

When the Court heard the matter on July 31, 2020, Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Yash Dubey, told the Court that Heavens will not fall if exams are not conducted.


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After UGC, Ministry of Home Affairs has also filed an affidavit in the plea challenging UGC’s revised guidelines dated 06.07.2020 regarding conduct of final year exams amidst COVID-19 crisis and has said while the MHA Unlock-3 Guidelines dated 29.07.2020 continue to require schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions to remain closed till 31.08.2020, the universities/institutions will be and are clearly intended to be exempted from the said restriction for the limited purpose of holding Final Term Examinations / evaluation work in terms of the UGC guidelines on examinations.

MHA submits that after the Ministry of Human Resource Development wrote to it on July 4, 2020 regarding the conduct of examinations, it after taking into consideration the academic interest of a large number of students, decided to grant exemption for the opening of educational institutions for the purposes of holding examinations/evaluation work for Final Term Examinations of the Universities/Institutions. The said decision was conveyed to MHRD on July 6, 2020. It was made clear that such Final Term Examinations were to be compulsorily conducted as per the ‘Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities’; and as per the detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the conduct of such examinations, which had been approved by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

MHA, in it’s affidavit, submits that the Union Home Secretary has granted the aforesaid exemption for conduct of Final Term Examinations in exercise of powers under section 10(2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act 2005. The said provision empowers the National Executive Committee to “lay down guidelines for, or give directions to, the concerned Ministries or Departments of the Government of India, the State Governments and the State Authorities regarding measures to be taken by them in response to any threatening disaster situation or disaster”.

Earlier today, in it’s response to the affidavit filed by the State of NCT of Delhi, UGC stated that Delhi’s decision to cancel final year/terminal semester examinations and graduate students without such examinations, encroaches on the legislative field of coordinating and determining the standards of higher education that is exclusively reserved for Parliament under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VH of the Constitution. As such, the State Government’s decision dated 11.07.2020 is contrary to the UGC’s Guidelines which have been issued for maintaining the standards of higher education and is void ab initio.

UGC submits that

it aims to protect the academic future of students across the country which will be irreparably damaged if their final year/terminal semester examinations are not held, while also keeping in mind their health and safety.”

Yesterday, Maharashtra Students’ Union, a non-profit organization working for welfare of students, more particularly students pursuing higher education, filed an Intervention Application in the plea challenging UGC’s revised guidelines dated 06.07.2020 regarding conduct of final year exams amidst COVID-19 crisis.

It submitted that a Bachelor’s degree is conferred on the basis of a collective assessment of all 3 years of a Bachelor’s course and not of the final semester alone. The affidavit states that

“the last examination or the final examination of students of Higher and Technical Education does not carry any special weightage or decisive value which a final year examination used to carry in the erstwhile education system, as the evaluation is done on a cumulative assessment of all semesters in a degree course.”

The 3-judge bench of Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, JJ, had on August 10, 2020, sought a reply on whether the Disaster Management Act can override the UGC’s guidelines and posted the matter for further hearing on August 14, 2020.

Maharashtra, in it’s affidavit, has mentioned that after deliberating on the issue at length, the State Disaster Management Authority constituted under the  Disaster Management Act, 2005 took the decision of not holding the last year final semester examinations for both professional and non-professional courses.

NCT of Delhi has submitted that the Deputy Chief Minister/Higher and Technical Education Minister of the National Capital Territory of Delhi has all Delhi State Universities to cancel all written online/offline semester examinations including final year examinationsUniversities have also been advised to devise alternative assessment measures to promote students of intermediary semesters and grant degrees to students of final semesters.

Regarding the decisions of certain State Governments to cancel the Final Year exams, UGC has, in it’s affidavit, stated that the said decision is contrary to UGC Guidelines and encroaches on Parliament’s power under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VII to coordinate and determine the standards of higher education.

UGC has also emphasised on the need to conduct the examinations as it is the crucial step in the academic career of a student.

“… it would be irrational to exempt students from final year/terminal semester examinations and to graduate them based on their past performance.”

Final Year Student Yash Dubey, who has also challenged the Revised Guidelines, along with 31 other students,  in his rejoinder, submitted that

“it is baffling to note that just one semester of examination will be determinative of the integrity and value of a degree for which students worked hard for six (for three years course) and to ten semesters (for five year course),…”

When the Court heard the matter on July 31, 2020, Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Yash Dubey, told the Court that Heavens will not fall if exams are not conducted.


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COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

UGC has filed a counter affidavit in the in the plea challenging UGC’s revised guidelines dated 06.07.2020 regarding conduct of final year exams amidst COVID-19 crisis. In it’s affidavit, UGC has submitted that it has taken a policy decision to conduct final year/terminal semester examinations in the interest of students across the country after duly considering the prevailing situation of a pandemic.

In it’s response to the affidavit filed by the State of NCT of Delhi, UGC states that Delhi’s decision to cancel final year/terminal semester examinations and graduate students without such examinations, encroaches on the legislative field of coordinating and determining the standards of higher education that is exclusively reserved for Parliament under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VH of the Constitution. As such, the State Government’s decision dated 11.07.2020 is contrary to the UGC’s Guidelines which have been issued for maintaining the standards of higher education and is void ab initio.

 The affidavit highlights that Delhi has itself submitted that the examination / assessment process was actually completed “by online mode” in six out of the eight State universities/institutions in Delhi, despite the pandemic. It states that Delhi has

“unilaterally chosen to cancel the final year/terminal semester examinations and graduate students using “alternative assessment measures” in contravention of the UGC’s Guidelines, even though it was required to hold such examinations in the interest of the students.”

UGC submits that it aims to protect the academic future of students across the country which will be irreparably damaged if their final year/terminal semester examinations are not held, while also keeping in mind their health and safety.

Yesterday, Maharashtra Students’ Union, a non-profit organization working for welfare of students, more particularly students pursuing higher education, filed an Intervention Application in the plea challenging UGC’s revised guidelines dated 06.07.2020 regarding conduct of final year exams amidst COVID-19 crisis.

It submitted that a Bachelor’s degree is conferred on the basis of a collective assessment of all 3 years of a Bachelor’s course and not of the final semester alone. The affidavit states that

“the last examination or the final examination of students of Higher and Technical Education does not carry any special weightage or decisive value which a final year examination used to carry in the erstwhile education system, as the evaluation is done on a cumulative assessment of all semesters in a degree course.”

The 3-judge bench of Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, JJ, had on August 10, 2020, sought a reply on whether the Disaster Management Act can override the UGC’s guidelines and posted the matter for further hearing on August 14, 2020.

Maharashtra, in it’s affidavit, has mentioned that after deliberating on the issue at length, the State Disaster Management Authority constituted under the  Disaster Management Act, 2005 took the decision of not holding the last year final semester examinations for both professional and non-professional courses.

NCT of Delhi has submitted that the Deputy Chief Minister/Higher and Technical Education Minister of the National Capital Territory of Delhi has all Delhi State Universities to cancel all written online/offline semester examinations including final year examinationsUniversities have also been advised to devise alternative assessment measures to promote students of intermediary semesters and grant degrees to students of final semesters.

Regarding the decisions of certain State Governments to cancel the Final Year exams, UGC has, in it’s affidavit, stated that the said decision is contrary to UGC Guidelines and encroaches on Parliament’s power under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VII to coordinate and determine the standards of higher education.

UGC has also emphasised on the need to conduct the examinations as it is the crucial step in the academic career of a student.

“… it would be irrational to exempt students from final year/terminal semester examinations and to graduate them based on their past performance.”

Final Year Student Yash Dubey, who has also challenged the Revised Guidelines, along with 31 other students,  in his rejoinder, submitted that

“it is baffling to note that just one semester of examination will be determinative of the integrity and value of a degree for which students worked hard for six (for three years course) and to ten semesters (for five year course),…”

When the Court heard the matter on July 31, 2020, Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Yash Dubey, told the Court that Heavens will not fall if exams are not conducted.


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UGC issues notice that no employing Higher Educational Institutions shall keep in their possession any teacher’s original academic certificates/documents which is akin to depriving them of their rights.
The public notice stated,
It has come to the notice of UGC that many of the universities/colleges/institutes collect the original academic certificates, mark-sheets etc. at the time of issuing employment contracts to the teachers and the continue to retain those documents with them.
Due to the above-stated, teachers face a tough time recovering their certificates from their employer educational institutions when they leave their job. Many even have to forego their better prospects as they are not able to recover their documents in time.
Read the notice here: NOTICE

University Grants Commission
[Public Notice dt. 11-08-2020]
Hot Off The PressNews

Maharashtra Students’ Union, a non-profit organization working for welfare of students, more particularly students pursuing higher education, has filed an Intervention Application in the plea challenging UGC’s revised guidelines dated 06.07.2020 regarding conduct of final year exams amidst COVID-19 crisis.

The Union, in it’s application, states that the guidelines dated 29.04.2020 or the revised guidelines dated 06.07.2020 issued by the University Grants Commission are neither mandatory nor binding on the State Authority set up under Section 14 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

“In case of a conflict between laws made either by the Parliament and/or State Legislature and the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the latter shall prevail in accordance with the provisions of Section 72 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.”

Union has submitted that while UGC is concerned with the standards of education, the decision of the State Government regarding non-conduct of final exams in a situation of a national health crisis like the present COVID-19 pandemic cannot in the remotest manner be considered as an impediment on the powers of UGC to maintain standards of education.

It further states that a Bachelor’s degree is conferred on the basis of a collective assessment of all 3 years of a Bachelor’s course and not of the final semester alone. The affidavit states that

“the last examination or the final examination of students of Higher and Technical Education does not carry any special weightage or decisive value which a final year examination used to carry in the erstwhile education system, as the evaluation is done on a cumulative assessment of all semesters in a degree course.”

The Union further highlights that as per the provisions of the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016 makes it clear that the power to take decisions regarding the conduct of examinations and conferring degrees rests upon the respective State Universities and not upon the UGC.

As per the Disaster Management Act, 2005, not only the State Government, but even the State Disaster Management Authority constituted under section 14 and/or the State Executive Committee constituted under Section 20 of the Act of 2005 are legally competent to take a decision in this behalf.

The Union further submits that the power to take decisions regarding conduct of examinations and conferring of degrees rests with the respective State Universities, and as such the UGC does not have the authority to grant/withold degrees of students, when the State Governments and Vice Chancellors of Universities have after considering all the exigencies of the current situation made a unanimous decision to confer degrees without holding the final year examinations.

The 3-judge bench of Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, JJ, had on August 10, 2020, sought a reply on whether the Disaster Management Act can override the UGC’s guidelines and posted the matter for further hearing on August 14, 2020.

Maharashtra, in it’s affidavit, has mentioned that after deliberating on the issue at length, the State Disaster Management Authority constituted under the  Disaster Management Act, 2005 took the decision of not holding the last year final semester examinations for both professional and non-professional courses.

NCT of Delhi has submitted that the Deputy Chief Minister/Higher and Technical Education Minister of the National Capital Territory of Delhi has all Delhi State Universities to cancel all written online/offline semester examinations including final year examinationsUniversities have also been advised to devise alternative assessment measures to promote students of intermediary semesters and grant degrees to students of final semesters.

Regarding the decisions of certain State Governments to cancel the Final Year exams, UGC has, in it’s affidavit, stated that the said decision is contrary to UGC Guidelines and encroaches on Parliament’s power under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VII to coordinate and determine the standards of higher education.

UGC has also emphasised on the need to conduct the examinations as it is the crucial step in the academic career of a student.

“… it would be irrational to exempt students from final year/terminal semester examinations and to graduate them based on their past performance.”

Final Year Student Yash Dubey, who has also challenged the Revised Guidelines, along with 31 other students,  in his rejoinder, submitted that

“it is baffling to note that just one semester of examination will be determinative of the integrity and value of a degree for which students worked hard for six (for three years course) and to ten semesters (for five year course),…”

When the Court heard the matter on July 31, 2020, Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Yash Dubey, told the Court that Heavens will not fall if exams are not conducted.


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COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: After the States of Maharashtra and NCT of Delhi submitted before the Court that they have cancelled the final year exams amidst COVID-19 crisis, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the University Grants Commission (UGC) told the Court that the students can’t get a degree if the exams are not conducted.

The 3-judge bench of Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, JJ sought a reply on whether the Disaster Management Act can override the UGC’s guidelines and posted the matter for further hearing on August 14, 2020.

Maharashtra, in it’s affidavit, has mentioned that after deliberating on the issue at length, the State Disaster Management Authority constituted under the  Disaster Management Act, 2005 took the decision of not holding the last year final semester examinations for both professional and non-professional courses.

NCT of Delhi has submitted that the Deputy Chief Minister/Higher and Technical Education Minister of the National Capital Territory of Delhi has all Delhi State Universities to cancel all written online/offline semester examinations including final year examinations. Universities have also been advised to devise alternative assessment measures to promote students of intermediary semesters and grant degrees to students of final semesters.

Regarding the decisions of certain State Governments to cancel the Final Year exams, UGC has, in it’s affidavit, stated that the said decision is contrary to UGC Guidelines and encroaches on Parliament’s power under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VII to coordinate and determine the standards of higher education.

UGC has also emphasised on the need to conduct the examinations as it is the crucial step in the academic career of a student.

“… it would be irrational to exempt students from final year/terminal semester examinations and to graduate them based on their past performance.”

Final Year Student Yash Dubey, who has also challenged the Revised Guidelines, along with 31 other students,  in his rejoinder, submitted that

“it is baffling to note that just one semester of examination will be determinative of the integrity and value of a degree for which students worked hard for six (for three years course) and to ten semesters (for five year course),…”

When the Court heard the matter on July 31, 2020, Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Yash Dubey, told the Court that Heavens will not fall if exams are not conducted.


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Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The Government of NCT of Delhi has filed the affidavit in the plea challenging the conduct of final year exams amidst COVID-19 crisis and has said that it took the decision to cancel the conduct of examinations as

“In such peculiar circumstances, the students did not get the kind of preparation needed to attempt a full-fledged examination.”

The Affidavit states that best efforts were made to conduct online classes in Universities, but the reality of our digital divide is that online classes are not accessible equally by all. It further states that the completion of the teaching-learning process is fundamental to the conduct of regular examinations.

“During this extremely tough period, regular physical classes got completely interrupted. The students had no access to study material and the college libraries were closed, although getting access through online mode.”

Narinder Passi, Director of Higher Education, filing the affidavit on behalf of Delhi, stated that Deputy Chief Minister/Higher and Technical Education Minister of the National Capital Territory of Delhi had, in his decision dated 11.07.2020, asked all Delhi State Universities to cancel all written online/offline semester examinations including final year examinations. Universities were also advised to devise alternative assessment measures to promote students of intermediary semesters and grant degrees to students of final semesters. Vice chancellors of few Universities were, however, of the view that final semester exams should still be conducted, even if other semester exams were cancelled.

Submitting the status of the conduct of examinations in the State, the Director of Higher Education states that while GGSIP University and Delhi Pharmaceutical Science and Research University are devising mechanism for assessment to award marks to final year students, the other six Universities have completed the final year Examination by online mode.

Regarding the decisions of certain State Governments to cancel the Final Year exams, UGC has, in it’s affidavit, stated that the said decision is contrary to UGC Guidelines and encroaches on Parliament’s power under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VII to coordinate and determine the standards of higher education.

UGC has also emphasised on the need to conduct the examinations as it is the crucial step in the academic career of a student.

“… it would be irrational to exempt students from final year/terminal semester examinations and to graduate them based on their past performance.”

Final Year Student Yash Dubey, who has also challenged the Revised Guidelines, along with 31 other students,  in his rejoinder, submitted that

“it is baffling to note that just one semester of examination will be determinative of the integrity and value of a degree for which students worked hard for six (for three years course) and to ten semesters (for five year course),…”

When the Court heard the matter on July 31, 2020, Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Yash Dubey, told the Court that Heavens will not fall if exams are not conducted.

The Court is set to hear the matter tomorrow i.e. on August 10, 2020.


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Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: Dr. Dhanraj R. Mane, Director of Higher Education has filed the affidavit on behalf of the State of Maharashtra in the plea challenging the conduct of final year exams amidst COVID-19 crisis the Court directed that the decision of the State Disaster Management Committee dated June 19, 2020 be brought on record.

The affidavit clarifies that that the decision of the State Disaster Management Committee dated June 19, 2020 does not exist as the State of Maharashtra has constituted the State Disaster Management Authority and not Committee as the Disaster Management Act, 2005 does not contemplate constitution of a Committee. The Act contemplates constitution of an Advisory Committee by the Authority.

On the request of the Higher and Technical Education Department, the Authority convened a meeting on June 18, 2020 to decide the issue regarding holding of examinations across the State and after deliberating on the issue at length, took the decision of not holding the last year final semester examinations for both professional and non-professional courses. Hence, in compliance of the said decision, the Maharashtra Government issued resolution dated June 19, 2020.

In view of UGC’s revised Guidelines dated July 6, 2020, another meeting was convened on July 13, 2020 and after considering the alarming COVID-19 situation in the entire State, imposition of lockdown, college buildings being used as isolation centres, etc, it was decided that it was not possible to hold examinations in the State and the decision dated June 18, 2020 was affirmed. The affidavit, hence, states that the Authorities decision dated July 13, 2020 must be taken into consideration.

Regarding the decisions of certain State Governments to cancel the Final Year exams, UGC has, in it’s affidavit, stated that the said decision is contrary to UGC Guidelines and encroaches on Parliament’s power under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VII to coordinate and determine the standards of higher education.

UGC has also emphasised on the need to conduct the examinations as it is the crucial step in the academic career of a student.

“… it would be irrational to exempt students from final year/terminal semester examinations and to graduate them based on their past performance.”

Final Year Student Yash Dubey, who has also challenged the Revised Guidelines, along with 31 other students,  in his rejoinder, submitted that

“it is baffling to note that just one semester of examination will be determinative of the integrity and value of a degree for which students worked hard for six (for three years course) and to ten semesters (for five year course),…”

When the Court heard the matter on July 31, 2020, Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Yash Dubey, told the Court that Heavens will not fall if exams are not conducted.


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Hot Off The PressNews

Delhi High Court: Prathiba M. Singh, J. has upheld the Delhi University’s (DU) decision to conduct open-book examinations (OBE) for final year undergraduate students, set to start from the 10th of August, 2020.

The Court was hearing a plea filed by multiple students of the University, which sought to challenge the university’s decision to conduct OBEs, contending that it would be discriminatory for students who did not have internet, books and/or other resources for preparing for the exam or were stuck in Covid-19 containment zones. Moreover, the ability and preparedness of the University to conduct the exams, especially in light of the possibility of various technical problems, had been questioned. The University argued that conducting OBEs was in accordance with the UGC’s guidelines to conduct exams in a time-bound manner, and students would only require basic technology to appear for the examination. It contended that holding OBEs was to prevent students from assembling in one hall, intended at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

The High Court ruled in favour of DU, allowing it to conduct the OBEs from the 10th of August, 2020. However, the Court also issued several guidelines which the University would have to follow in conducting the examinations, such as uploading question papers on a portal and emailing them to students individually, giving students an extra hour to upload their answer sheet, sending auto-generated email to each student to confirm the receipt of the answer sheet by the University, etc. The Court observed that a Grievance Redressal Committee would have to be formed by the DU to resolve issues being faced by students, Common Service Centres would be made available for students with no cyber infrastructure, and students who fail to appear in the OBEs would have the option to appear in physical examinations in September; all of these would serve as safeguards for the students.


Source: Hindustan Times

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: In the Counter Affidavit filed by the University Grants Commission in the plea challenging the conduct of final year exams amidst COVID-19 crisis, the UGC has defended it’s Revised guidelines dated 06.07.2020 and has emphasised on the need to conduct the examinations as it is the crucial step in the academic career of a student.

“… it would be irrational to exempt students from final year/terminal semester examinations and to graduate them based on their past performance.”

The 3-judge bench of Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, JJ had, on 27.07.2020, sought response from University Grants Commission (UGC) on a batch of petitions seeking challenging its circular and seeking cancellation of final term examination in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and had placed the matter for further hearing on July 31, 2020.

As many as 31 students from different universities across India approached the Supreme Court to quash the UGC circular dated July 6 which has asked the universities/institutions across India to conduct terminal semester(s)/final year examinations by the end of September, 2020 in offline/online/blended mode.

The students, in their petition, urged that the exams should be canceled and the results of such students should be calculated on the basis of their internal assessment or past performance. The petition filed by students from 13 states and one union territory requested that the students’ marksheets should be issued before July 31.

Another petition on the issue, filed in the Supreme Court by final year law student Yash Dubey, also sought cancellation of UGC mandated final year exams. Shiv  Sena leader Aditya Thackeray has also moved the Supreme court on behalf of Yuva Sena, the youth wing of Shiv Sena, against the mandated final year exams in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases.

UGC’s response to the Petition

UGC has, in it’s affidavit, stated that it’s Guidelines dated 06.07.2020, have been issued to protect the academic future of the students across the country which will be irreparably damaged if their final year/terminal semester examinations are not held. It says that it had done so while keeping the health and safety of the students in mind.

Regarding the decisions of certain State Governments to cancel the Final Year exams, UGS has stated that the said decision is contrary to UGC Guidelines and encroaches on Parliament’s power under Entry 66 of List I of Schedule VII to coordinate and determine the standards of higher education.

The affidavit also states that UGC has, in it’s Guidelines dated 06.07.2020, taken account of the evolving situation of COVID-19 by not only providing adequate time for the conduct of examinations but also by giving flexibility on mode of conduct of exam i.e. offline/online/blended mode.

It further states that the Guidelines are based on the recommendations of experts and have been made after due deliberation by taking into account and balancing all factors. The affidavit states that it is wrong to say that students will be “forced” to appear for the examinations at the cost of their health as the Guidelines provides for examination through special chance i.e. in case a student of terminal semester/ final year is unable to appear in the examination conducted by the university for whatsoever the reasons may be, he/she may be given opportunity to appear in special examinations for such courses/ papers, which may be conducted by the university as and when feasible, so that the student is not put to any inconvenience.

On CBSE and ICSE’s decision to cancel Board examinations, UGC, in it’s affidavit states that the nature of those examinations is very different from Final Year/Terminal semester examinations which will have a lasting and indelible effect on the academic credibility, career opportunities and future of the students. It also highlighted the fact that ICSE has made clear that students are not exempt from the examinations will have to appear in November, 2020 examinations.

Rejoinder by Students

Final Year Student Yash Dubey, who has also sought challenged the Revised Guidelines, in his rejoinder, submitted that

“it is baffling to note that just one semester of examination will be determinative of the integrity and value of a degree for which students worked hard for six (for three years course) and to ten semesters (for five year course),…”

He further submits that the Revised UGC Guidelines are in complete deviation from the 29.04.2020 UGC Guideline, wherein it was clearly stated that it is advisory in nature and that each University may chart out its own plan of action taking into consideration the issues pertaining to COVID-19 pandemic. The Rejoinder states,

“…while passing the Revised Guidelines, the UGC has itself failed to consider the 29.04.2020 Guidelines, which provided flexibility to the Universities to implement the Guidelines in the best interest of students.”

On the conduct of online examinations, the Student states that in view of the current difficulties that our country is facing, it is quite unrealistic to justify the reasoning of conduction of virtual examination by relying on examples of the premier institutions of the world. While relying on the examples of the premier institutes as a basis for conduction of examination in our country, the Respondent fails to take into consideration that these institutes/colleges/universities (as cities) are largely accommodative of student’s concern and therefore this cannot be the basis to justify the decision regarding the compulsory conduct of examination.

It further states that the revised UGC Guidelines are taking the students backward rather than forward. Looking at the rising curve of COVID-19 cases, in the country, it is quite unrealistic to set a deadline for compulsory conduct of examination.

“It fails to take into consideration the loss that is being caused to thousands of students who have received a preplacement offer or who have secured post graduate admission in certain prestigious universities of the world. It can work as a factor which might lead to loss of jobs, loss of secured admission and in some cases loss of an academic year.”

The rejoinder also stresses on the point that the UGC has failed to consider that most of the educational institutions/Universities/colleges  have been converted into quarantine centre and the conduction of the examination, in this testing time, is a threat to the life and health of thousands of students.


Read the details of UGC’s revised guidelines on conduct of final year exams here


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Appointments & TransfersNews

S.O.1298(E)— In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (b) of Sub-Section (3) of Section 5 read with clause (c) of Sub-Section (1) of Section 6 of the University Grants Commission Act 1956 (3 of 1956), the Central Government hereby appoints Prof. (Dr.) Nagesh Thakur, Professor, Department of Physics, Himachal Pradesh University, Summer Hill, Shimla as a Member of the University Grants Commission with immediate effect, for a term of three years or till further orders, whichever is earlier.

[No.7-4/2017-U1(A)]

Ministry of Human Resource and Development

Conference/Seminars/LecturesLaw School News

It gives us immense pleasure to invite you all on behalf of GNLU Competitive Exam Guidance Committee for the “Special Lecture Series Programme on UGC – NET and SET Examination”. This programme is scheduled to be held from 16th – 18th August, 2018.

Why this Program?

Accurate planning is necessary to achieve success in UGC-NET examination. There is a need of proper  guidance and strategy. It is also necessary to have a clear understanding of the syllabus, trends & patterns of questions. Depth study is required from an authentic book in both papers. It is advisable to prepare concise notes for the respective subjects and revise them again and again. This program is going to organize with the view to have a special lecture on a concern subjects. Lectures will be delivered by our highly qualified faculties of GNLU. Apart from this, there will be a discussion on a particular topic of concerned subject. This will help the aspirants to improve and increase their knowledge in a particular subject.

Course Coverage: This programme will focus on the subjects Constitution of India, Public International Law, Jurisprudence, Law of Contracts and Family Law (Paper II). Focus approach will be based on previous years question pattern, current cases/issues on topic concerned. The lecture will be delivered according to the new syllabus designed by UGC-NET of the subject concerned.

Programme Schedule:

Sr. No. Name of Resource Person  Subject  Date Time
1. Dr. Girish R Constitution of India 16/08/2018 5:30-7:30 pm
2. Dr. Ravindra Kumar Singh Law of Contracts 17/08/2018 5:30-7:30 pm
3. Mr. Sushil Goswami Family Law 18/08/2018 9:30-11:30 am
4. Dr. Deesha Khaire Jurisprudence 18/08/2018 11:35-1:35 pm
5. Dr. Udayakumara Ramakrishna B.N. Public International Law 18/08/2018 2:40-4.40 pm

Venue: GNLU Campus

Who can apply?

  • All LL.M qualified or pursuing LL.M students from any of the College or University in India wishing to appear for the UGC- NET or State Eligibility Test.
  • The aspirants who are preparing for civil services exam (who have opted law as their optional subject) and Judiciary exam aspirants are also welcome.

Please Note: Only 50 slots are up for grabs. 

Please register using the Google Doc form.

For any queries please feel free to email us or contact the undersigned.

gcgc@gnlu.ac.in or contact Mr.  Dileep Kumar Singh at   +91-9450464192  or dsingh@gnlu.ac.in

Hot Off The PressNews

Pursuant to the order dated 26.04.2018 of Madras High Court in Writ Petitions Nos. 14232 and 17778 of 2017, University Grants Commission (UGC) has constituted a Committee consisting of Prof. R.C. Deka, Former Director, AIIMS, New Delhi (Chairman), Dr. O.P. Kalra, Vice-Chancellor Pt. B.D. Sharma University of Health Sciences Rohtak; Prof. (Ms.) Saroj Chooramani Gopal, Former VC, King George Medical University, Lucknow; Prof. Mahesh Verma Director, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, New Delhi; Prof.  Dr. Ajay S. Chandanwale, Dean, Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College & Sassoon General Hospitals, Pune; Shri S.K. Ray, Former Additional Secretary & Financial Advisor, MHRD and nominee of each of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Dental Council of India, Medical Council of India and Ministry of Human Resource Development to regulate the fees chargeable by self-financed Deemed to be Universities in Medical and Dental Courses.

Ministry of Human Resource Development

Hot Off The PressNews

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has framed guidelines on Safety of Students on and off Campuses of Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs). As per UGC guidelines, HEIs should mandatorily put in place a broad-based “Students Counseling System” for the effective management of problems and challenges faced by students. It is a unique, interactive and target-oriented system, involving students, teachers and parents, resolved to address common students concerns such as anxiety, stress, fear of change and failure to homesickness and a slew of academic worries. HEIs should also make self defense for women mandatory component of extra-curricular activities. Further, it is incumbent upon HEIs to institute a mechanism to address issues/concerns of all girls and women in HEIs.

All universities may make or amend their ordinances and other relevant statutory provisions accordingly to ensure that the directions contained in the guidelines are implemented in the best interests of students.

The aforesaid guidelines may be viewed here.

Ministry of Human Resource Development

Legislation UpdatesRules & Regulations

Higher Educational Institutions can now offer Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programmes in full-fledged online mode in line with their regular programs.
In a landmark reform in the field of Higher Education, University Grants Commission has approved UGC (Online Courses) Regulations, 2018. Higher Educational Institutions can offer Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programmes in full-fledged online mode in only those disciplines in which it has already been offering the same or similar Programmes /Courses at graduation level in regular mode (of classroom teaching) or in Open and Distance Learning mode and from which at least one batch has been graduated and approved by the statutory councils, as applicable. Online Programmes requiring Practical/ Laboratory Courses as a curricular requirement shall not be permitted.  The Examinations shall be conducted in proctored mode and in conformity with any norms for such examinations stipulated by the commission. The online learning shall have minimum four quadrants: video lectures, e- content, self-assessment and discussion forum to clarify doubts.

The Higher Educational Institutions will be eligible to offer Online Programmes if they have been in existence for at least five years and are accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with a valid minimum score of 3.26 on a 4-point scale; and should be in the top-100 in overall category in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) for at least two years in the previous three years. However, NAAC and NIRF conditions shall not be applicable to existing government Open Universities till NAAC or similar accreditation system or NIRF are made available.

Aadhaar and Passport shall be used to authenticate the Indian and foreign students respectively for all online interactions including teaching-learning and examinations.

The learners’ engagement will be monitored via participation in asynchronous / synchronous discussions, assignment activity and Programme involvement. The analytics of Learning Management System shall be used for ensuring the learner’s participation at least for 2 hours every fortnight.

Overall Regulations provide enabling provisions for maintaining sanctity of admissions, teaching-learning, examination, authenticity of the learner and mandatory disclosure of Programme-wise information such as duration, start & end dates, fee, number of students, name of students with identifier, results, on HEI website/public domain.

These regulations will be made applicable from the academic session 2018-19. This initiative is a big step towards attaining the targeted GER of 30% by the year 2020.

Ministry of Human Resource Development