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Covid-19 lockdown: UGC chief led panel to deal with delay in academic session of…

HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal held a meeting with officials where measures to be taken for health of students and non-academic staff during coronavirus pandemic were also discussed.(Representative photo/ Saumya Khandelwal from HT )

To deal with the effects of Covid-19 lockdown on higher educational institutions, the HRD ministry on Saturday decided to form a panel headed by UGC chief DP Singh to chart out the academic calendar of universities.

In a statement, the ministry said HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank took the decision to form the panel. In addition, the ministry also decided to form another panel that would look into aspects related to online learning and online exams.

“The decision to form an academic calendar committee under the leadership of UGC Chairman was taken by the minister. The committee will suggest measures to deal with the issue of delay in the academic session,” the ministry said in the statement.

It added that HRD minister held a meeting with vice chancellors to motivate their faculty and students to use SWAYAM and SWAYAM PRABHA educational platforms in mission mode and also through other online digital mediums.

To promote online education and give suggestions regarding online examination a committee under the chairmanship of IGNOU Vice Chancellor Professor Nageshwar Rao has been constituted, the statement said.

Among other issues discussed in the meeting were measures to be taken regarding health of students residing in hostels and academic and non-academic staff of the university, adherence to social distancing and isolation instructions and provision for testing of suspected cases of Covid-19 in the university.

Aspects like role of the management in dealing with mental health challenges of students, salary related problems of all employees (permanent, temporary and daily wage earners) and research on Covid-19 were also discussed.

Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Aligarh Muslim university (AMU) informed that they have created facility of 40-bed isolation rooms. Most of the universities continue to run courses digitally so that academic session is not delayed.

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