Live | Coronavirus Live Updates: Education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' tests positive for COVID-19
Team Careers360|Apr 21, 2021
NEW DELHI: Once a quarantine centre, a government college in Gurugram will turn into an exam centre soon. As universities are preparing to conduct exams by September end, students are returning to the cities and towns where they study. Delhi University’s exams are set to start on September 14; Banaras Hindu University’s exams led a law student insisting on the Indian Railways dropping her home even after the other passengers had been unceremoniously off-loaded.
After several rounds of petitions and public debate -- over JEE Main and NEET 2020 and the university exams made mandatory by the University Grants Commision (UGC) -- the Supreme Court had decided in favour of holding the exams in every case, despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country and dozens being reported from educational institutions. Several states have already announced university exams in September or October.
The JEE Main exams ended on Saturday but this year, attendance has been lower than usual. Students have also had to take extraordinary measures to reach centres, said reports. This, despite the National Testing Agency (NTA) issuing elaborate safety protocols to conduct the exams and increasing the number of exam centres. Students reported that travelling was a huge discomfort and it affected their parents too.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus is sweeping through the campuses. Several Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and even Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, reported cases over July. IIT Kharagpur alone reported 10 cases and once again ordered the evacuation of the campus in August. And IIT Kanpur director, Abhay Karandikar, has returned from the hospital having just recovered from COVID-19.
Educational institutions are caught up in the COVID-19 crisis in other ways as well.
By the end of May, upward of 600 institutions of higher education housed quarantine or isolation centres. Classrooms and hostels in Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas were also converted into housing facilities for suspected cases. Their numbers have only risen as the number of positive cases rose.
Now, as student across the country write exams, Careers360 is tracking cases on the campuses, where college buildings or hostels are serving as quarantine centres or hospitals, the availability of care, the students’ take on the situation, whether the staff are affected or not and, of course, exams.
Three students of the Manasagangotri campus of Mysore University tested COVID-19 positive just before their final semester exams. The panicked students had returned after four months for the exams, reported The New Indian Express.
The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a batch of pleas seeking deferment or cancellation of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) scheduled for September 13. “Sorry, we are not inclined to entertain,” the bench said. The apex court had on September 4 dismissed petitions, including the one filed by ministers of six opposition-ruled states, seeking review of its August 17 order which had paved the way for holding NEET and JEE exams.
There have been reports of agitation by parents in some schools across West Bengal demanding reduction of fees on the grounds that classes are being held online and guardians faced hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Kolkata High Court is considering the fee issue but also asked the parents not to protest in front of schools.
The students of the Indian Institute of Information and Technology(IIIT), Bhubaneswar have boycotted online classes for a week to protest against full fee payment amid the coronavirus pandemic. The institute asked for the fee payment to compensate for the salaries of the non-teaching staff. However, the non-teaching staff at the institute too had been protesting against non-payment of salary.
IIM Calcutta is ready to welcome 62 students of its one-year Post Graduate Program for Executives (PGPEx) residential programme on campus after months of conducting classes online. Following all Central and State Government advisories and regulatory guidelines, the students will be permitted to come back in small batches, attending online classes while in quarantine in campus hostels. A campus entry process that entails strong protocols including mandatory testing, quarantine measures, and other campus protocols for their safety and that of all campus residents will also be followed.
The authorities of Government College in Sector 9 Gurugram, seek to transfer the 40 jail inmates of Bhondsi who were quarantined in the main college building. The college has planned to host exams next week with COVID-19 SOP’s but students have threatened to boycott the exam in view of the ongoing pandemic, reports The Tribune.
Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore, has announced that the medical examinations have been rescheduled to October 13. They were supposed to be held from September 15.
The Puducherry administration today issued an order to all private medical colleges in the Union Territory to set up COVID-19 testing labs by September 10. The colleges have also been directed to ensure that at least 100 beds out of the additional 300 beds were equipped with oxygen apparatus by September 10.
Chief Secretary of Assam in a notice informed that all schools, colleges, educational & coaching institutes shall remain closed till 30th September for regular class activities. Online and distance learning activities are allowed to continue, says a notice Asian News International has shared.
The Supreme Court dismissed review petition challenging its order allowing the JEE Main and NEET 2020 entrance examinations to be held in September.
The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, reported its first COVID-19 positive case. A student of the one-year post graduate programme in Management for Executives (PGPX) course was tested positive, reported The Indian Express. He had recently returned to stay on campus.
Three universities based in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, reported COVID-19 cases and have shut the departments whose staff were found positive for sanitization. An employee of Dr Shakuntala Misra National Rehabilitation University (DSMNRU), a professor in Lucknow University, and two non-teaching employees of Dr APJ Kalam Technical University (AKTU) tested positive, reported the Times of India. Exams of final year undergraduates and postgraduate students are on as per schedule.
The Supreme Court of India will hear a review petition challenging its order allowing the JEE Main and NEET 2020 entrance examinations to be held in September. Six ministers of opposition-ruled states moved the Supreme Court on August 28 seeking review of its order permitting the Centre to conduct NEET and JEE entrance exams.
The Odisha Government requested the University Grants Commission (UGC) to extend the exam's deadline for final year university exams for all undergraduate and postgraduate courses from September 30 to October 10.
Haryana too will be conducting pending final year examinations of state government-aided colleges and universities by the end of September.
Visva Bharati University will hold the final semester examination this month, following the UGC advisory for mandatory conduct of final semester examination by September 30. The heads of different departments have been told to choose the modalities for conducting the tests.
Following the UGC guidelines on exams, the Odisha government has decided to complete all the final semester examinations of undergraduate and postgraduate courses by September 30 and announce results before October 31. In the meeting of vice-chancellors and principals through video conference, where the decision was taken, it was also decided to conduct a special examination in December 2020 for students who cannot appear for the exam in September due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the back paper exams of final semester students.
On the first day, out of 3,020 registered students, only 1,664 were present for JEE Main in Gujarat. The remaining 1,356 did not turn up. Every year, 25-30 percent of students skip the exams but this year the percentage is higher by 10-15 points. 38,167 students had registered for the exam being conducted by the National Testing Agency in 32 centres in 13 districts between September 1-6.
The Orissa High Court yesterday asked the state government to arbitrate between parents' associations and private school authorities over school fee hike. At least three PILs are now pending disposal in the High Court. The petitioners are seeking complete exemption of tuition fees by private schools saying that the state government has declared COVID-19 pandemic a disaster and that the institutes remained closed since March.
The Delhi High Court today ordered the ministry of railways to provide confirmed tickets to all students with disabilities, who need to travel to Delhi to appear in offline exams being held by Delhi University. DU’s second round of final year examinations, will be held in physical mode from September 14.
The West Bengal government asked state universities to conduct final semester college and university examinations between October 1 and 18. A senior official of the higher education department told PTI that following the Supreme Court order it was decided to conduct the final semester exams in October.
Maharashtra's higher education minister, Uday Samant, tweeted: "The universities are trying to ensure that the final year examinations can be given to the students from home. Exams cannot be taken till September 30. The Vice-Chancellor(s) opined that the government should request the UGC to extend the term till October 31."
According to the guidelines of Unlock 4.0, the Home Ministry announced that school, colleges and other educational institutions will continue to remain closed for students in September. In areas outside the containment zones, States and Union Territories are permitted to allow institutes to have 50 percent of their teaching and non-teaching staff on the campus and allow students of classes nine to 12 to visit their schools. Research scholars and post-graduate students of technical and professional programmes too can be permitted to visit the laboratory for experimental works.
The alumni associations of IIT Delhi, Bombay and Madras have jointly launched “eduride” -- an online web portal to help JEE Main and NEET 2020 aspirants reach their exam centres. This portal will help candidates register online or call at the listed number to request for the ride to their exam centre.
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU), Uttar Pradesh, has increased the number of examination centres for final year exams in order to ensure social distancing norms issued by the government, reports Times of India . According to the report, AKTU has also made provisions for 25 extra centres in case any of its centres become unavailable.
Lucknow University announced a revised exam schedule for final year undergraduate students to avoid class with NEET and JEE exams, reports Times of India. According to the new schedule, exams will begin from September 7.
The All India Students' Association (AISA) has written to chief ministers requesting them to invoke the State Disaster Management Act (SDMA) to postpone NEET, JEE examinations.
AISA, in the letter, said: "Students have seen how non functional standard operating procedures (SOPs) have become, with the KCET , KEAM , COMEDK , B.Ed and BEO exams. Not only were the promised SOP guidelines and rules laid down by the Central Government were openly flouted and thrown to the wind. Hundreds of students have been infected due to COVID due to giving exams."
"The number of test centers concentrated in few places in the state makes it complicated and stressful for students.. Considering the pandemic, lockdown, lack of public transport, floods and other difficulties student sare facing, how will they reach the test centers?" Aisa added.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, has sent a notice to students belonging to the National Students' Union of India (NSUI) saying that their strike against holding JEE Main and NEET exams is "not allowed". The police said that the students were violating the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The students were protesting inside the NSUI's delhi office.
Akshay Lakra, Delhi state president, NSUI, said: "We first requested permission for Raisina road, which was denied. We had no other option left than to do it inside our premises near Shastri bhawan . Despite following all the SOP’s of COVID-19 we are threatened by Delhi Police."
Kashmir University will conduct exams for the first-semester undergraduate students online, following all norms, said a notification issued by the university. The guidelines notified by the Assistant Registrar Academic will be followed during the practical exams.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) plan to consult with all concerned Universities before conducting the exams. Following the SC order, minister of higher and technical education, Uday Sawant said that a plan of action will be announced by next week after discussing it with the vice-chancellor. Maharashtra students union says that they will continue their fight for justice for the students while accusing the politicians.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said that her government is weighing the pros and cons of holding final-year college and university exams before Durga Puja in October. She also said the Union government's "adamant approach" will add to the state’s COVID-19 woes.
Ruchi Gupta from NSUI said that SC is “arbitrary and illogical” to hold final year exams.
The NSUI is disappointed that the Supreme Court has upheld arbitrary and illogical #UGCGuidelines to hold final year exams. Promoting students on past performance in no way undermines quality of degree, holding farcical #OBE & other sham exams does. This is #AntiStudentModiGovt https://t.co/bFpvTGwhVT— Ruchi Gupta (@guptar) August 28, 2020
The National Testing Agency (NTA) has allocated an additional budget of Rs 13 crores to conduct the Joint Engineering Exam (JEE) Mains in over 660 centres across the country amid the pandemic. For the safety of students during exam NTA has arranged for 10 lakh masks, 1,300 infrared thermometer guns, 6,600 litres of sanitiser, 6,600 sponges, 3,300 spray bottles and 3,300 cleaning staff, reported the Indian Express.
Six opposition-ruled states have jointly filed a petition in Supreme Court today seeking review of its order permitting the Centre to conduct NEET and JEE Main entrance exams this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The plea has been filed by ministers from West Bengal, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Maharashtra.
Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) Kanpur director Abhay Karandikar had tested positive for COVID-19 on August 4. After spending some days in hospital, he has recovered and is back on campus. He tweeted about how he has “come out stronger” from the hospital.
Last few days were tough on me as I was detected with Covid. After being in hospital for few days, I am now back in campus @IITKanpur. Hard times teaches us a lot, and I am happy that I have come out stronger after being diagnosed with this disease.— Abhay Karandikar (@karandi65) August 28, 2020
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Lucknow, has declared the schedule for first-year M.Tech, M.Pharm and M.Arch exams. The exams are scheduled for September 8 in offline mode.
SC stated that exams will be held but if any state has taken a decision that it is not possible to hold exams then they have the liberty to approach the UGC to seek an extension of the deadline.
Dear #UGC final year friends,— Alakh Alok Srivastava (@advocate_alakh) August 27, 2020
Wait is over.
Hon’ble Supreme Court will pronounce final order/ judgment in our UGC matter tomorrow morning at 10.30 AM.
All the Best to each one of you.
Let’s hope for the Best.
Take care. pic.twitter.com/a14orgZmDj
IIT Guwahati director, T G Sitharam, said: "IIT Guwahati supports the government's decision to conduct JEE and NEET in September 2020. JEE exams is held multiple times in a year and students who do not appear this time can write after six months. Keeping in mind the effort put by students who have prepared for JEE Main and their future, it is critical that the exams are conducted as scheduled."
Education minister Ramesh pokhriyal 'Nishank', in his statement, said: '"The Director General of NTA has told me that out of the 8.60 lakh applicants nearly 7.50 lakh JEE Main admit cards have been downloaded. For NEET, in 24 hours, nearly 10 lakh admit cards have been downloaded. This is evidence for the multiple requests that we have received to conduct the exams. "
"Many parents and students, through email and other platforms, have asked us how long they will keep on studying and that exams should be held. Their future should not be spoiled and they should not lose a year. We’re glad that the decision will help in this regard and that the Supreme Court has also given a similar verdict [that exams should be held]," said education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', in a statement.
Ajit K Chaturvedi, director of IIT Roorkee, said: "The JEE exams should be held as per their schedule in September 2020. A large number of students and their parents want the exams to be conducted and looking forward to the wait to end now. We should not let this be a zero academic year as it might have consequences on the bright future of several students."
"Students and their parents need to have faith in the system. The decision to conduct these exams has been taken post considering every aspect of the current situation. The government has been ensuring that all necessary arrangements would be done to safeguard the health and safety of the students, " he added.
As of 2 pm on August 27, 9,94,198 NEET admit cards have been downloaded. For JEE Main, the number of downloaded admit cards is at 7,49.408.
Prof. Virendra Tewari, director of IIT Kharagpur, in a statement, said: “I understand the apprehensions but would encourage the aspirants to take it as an opportunity to adapt to the new normal and strive for a brighter future.”
“The aspirants need to put their faith in the organizing bodies who have been working incessantly to offer a safe environment towards the logistical requirements for holding these examinations under the current situation,” he added.
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi today and requested him to postpone NEET and JEE Main exams, in view of COVID19 situation and also because many parts of the state are in the grip of floods.
The Chief Minister of Jharkhand Hemant Soren said in a virtual meeting that he wants the JEE Main and NEET 2020 exams to be postponed.
Congress plans to hold countrywide protests on August 28 to oppose the government's "dictatorial move" to hold NEET, JEE exams during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Haryana Education Minister Kanwar Pal has said that the government will assess the coronavirus situation before allowing universities to hold exams for various courses. The minister was responding to concerns expressed by Congress MLAs from the state.
Delaying JEE-Mains and NEET exams any further will mean compromising the future of students, says a letter signed by 150 academics from various universities in India and abroad to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The academics were from Delhi University, IGNOU, Lucknow University, JNU, BHU, IIT Delhi and also foreign institutions in the US, UK and Israel. Several of these universities do not admit students to any course through either of the two exams.
Punjab chief minister, Amarinder Singh, said that the state will file a case against the Supreme Court decision on Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE) Main and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Odisha have opposed exams as well with their minister’s registering protest.
Chief Minister @capt_amarinder Singh directs AG to work with counterparts in other opposition ruled states to file review petition in SC on NEET/JEE exams. At VC with Sonia Gandhi , suggests going to PM together to seek GST compensation release, says `Not asking for moon’— CMO Punjab (@CMOPb) August 26, 2020
The National Testing Agency (NTA) released the admit cards for NEET 2020 at 12 today and over 4 lakh candidates had downloaded it in the first three hours. The exam is scheduled on September 13 and around 15.97 lakh candidates have registered for the exams.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee suggested approaching the Supreme Court again for postponing the exams due to the increasing COVID-19 cases in the country. The Asian News International reports that Banerjee made this suggestion at the opposition’s virtual meeting. The Supreme Court has already rejected a petition to postpone the JEE Main and NEET 2020 exams. The Punjab CM Amarinder Singh has supported Banerjee’s suggestion of collectively pushing for a review petition.
Students are posting pictures of themselves burning copies of their downloaded NEET 2020 admit cards on social media with the #PostponeJEENEET_Today and other hashtags. They are also telling each other not to download the admit cards but take screenshots and save those instead. They believe this will prevent the government from being able to claim that students are ready to write the NEET 2020 exam on September 13 like the NTA has in the case of JEE Main 2020.
#MODIJI_HELPJEENEET this flame is the downfall of your government my words each and every one of your party member will suffer irrespective of who you are..these words come from a student whose mentality and soul was played by your cheap politics..count on ur day.#NEET_JEE pic.twitter.com/XIkKFmgjg0— Arvind Bishnoi (@Arvind42533010) August 25, 2020
The SC verdict on the UGC guidelines on conducting final-year university examinations is unlikely to come today.
National Students' Union of India (NSUI) members began an indefinite hunger strike demanding the postponement of the JEE Main and NEET 2020 exams. They also demand tuition-fee waiver for six months for students during the pandemic. 10 NSUI members are participating in the hunger strike. Meanwhile, the NTA has released the NEET 2020 provisional admit card.
National Testing Agency (NTA) confirmed on Tuesday that it plans to conduct the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) and the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET-UG) in September as per schedule, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The NTA said that 99% candidates for both exams are getting their “first choice” of exam centre city and that the number of centres has been increased from 570 to 660 for JEE Main 2020, and from 2,546 to 3,842 for NEET 2020. The NTA also said it has taken steps to ensure the social distancing norms are observed at the centres and these include alternate seating plan, fewer candidates per room and staggered entry and exit.
Two more IIT Kharagpur students and a hostel staff-member have tested positive for COVID-19 today. On August 19, a student had tested positive after which the swab samples of two of his hostel mates and the mess staff were also sent for testing by the authorities. IIT Kharagpur had also asked students to vacate all the residence halls, or hostels, by August 23.
Colleges under Odisha’s higher education department have been asked to allow visually-impaired college teachers to conduct online classes from home until normalcy returns. The teachers were holding online classes from colleges.
Jadavpur University started holding arts and science classes of the previous semester today. In the classes held virtually, downloadable soft copies of notes and audio and video clips of lectures are uploaded to the university website, and students need to log in to their respective classes to get access to the study materials, the official told PTI.
In the 'Unlock 4' phase beginning September 1, metro train services may be allowed to resume but schools and colleges are unlikely to reopen, reports PTI. Schools and colleges have been closed from March to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 31 lakh people in the country so far.
All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has announced that institutions offering MBA and PGDM courses have been allowed to admit students based on marks obtained in qualifying undergraduate exams as several entrance tests could not be conducted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SC verdict on the UGC guidelines on conducting final-year university examinations is not likely to come today or tomorrow. The advocate, Alakh Alok Srivastava said that they are trying to send a request to the Court for early order.
Dear #UGC Final Year friends,— Alakh Alok Srivastava (@advocate_alakh) August 24, 2020
-Today Supreme Court has NOT pronounced Final Order in our Case
-As concerned Bench is not sitting tomorrow, now the Order is likely to come on Wednesday (26th)
-We are trying to send our request to Hon’ble Court for early Order
Will update again
After the Vice-Chancellor of King George Medical University (KGMU), seven guards and six other personnel attached to his office and three faculty members, also tested positive for COVID-19. The faculty members, guards and other personnel are undergoing treatment, the spokesperson told PTI, adding that Vipin Puri, the VC,is fine.
The Vice-Chancellor of King George Medical University, Lucknow, Vipin Puri, tested positive for COVID-19 today. The driver and another staff member who worked in close proximity to the VC had tested positive for COVID-19 first after which he got himself tested. Puri is in home isolation.
The Supreme Court on August 18 had reserved its verdict on whether the final year degree examinations in universities should be conducted by the end of September, in accordance with University Grants Commission’s (UGC) guidelines. All the parties were asked to file their written submissions within three days. The final decision is now likely to be announced on Monday or tuesday.
In our #UGC case, I have submitted our Written Submissions in SC.— Alakh Alok Srivastava (@advocate_alakh) August 21, 2020
Apart from raising specific legal grounds for cancellation of final year Exams, we have also specifically countered UGC arguments.
The final order is likely to be pronounced on Monday or Tuesday in the next week.
A private medical college in Puducherry, Venkateswara Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, has been converted by the government into a COVID-19 treatment centre and all other private medical colleges have been ordered to admit COVID patients and extend treatment as per ICMR guidelines, reported The New Indian Express.
Yesterday a student at IIT Kharagpur tested positive for COVID-19 and the hostel is now sealed. Around 300 students were staying in the two campus halls named Madan Mohan Malaviya and Lal Bahadur Shastri, reported Times of India. They have now been asked to vacate the hostels by August 23 as the authorities suggested it is too risky for them to stay on.
The National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts JEE Main and NEET, has introduced a self declaration form that candidates must fill in and bring to the exam centre. The self declaration form will be signed in the presence of the invigilator and have all records of their health status, recent travel history. JEE is scheduled in September first week, while NEET will be held on September 13.
The Supreme Court has reserved its order and asked for the submissions in writing from all the parties involved in the case against the UGC exam guidelines. A batch of petitions and several states had sought cancellation of final-year university examination. UGC informed SC that the final year exams can be postponed but not cancelled.
The Supreme Court hearing for the petition against University Grants Commission’s new guidelines on final year examinations as mandated has begun.
Supreme Court dismissed the plea for postponement of JEE and NEET 2020, Bar & Bench reported. The bench commented that postponement will put the “career of students in peril” and that there is no ground to interfere with policy decisions. The solicitor general assured that the exams will be held with adequate precautions.
Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad, (JNTUH) plans to conduct final year exams for engineering and pharmacy courses from September 16, even when a case is pending on the decision to conduct exams, reported the Times of India. The case was filed on June 9 by the Telangana team of National Students Union of India (NSUI) in Telangana High Court against the decision to conduct undergraduate and postgraduate examinations from June 20.
The Supreme Court will hear the pleas for and against postponement of JEE Main and NEET 2020 today. The plea for postponement was filed on August 6 by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, on behalf of 11 students from 11 states. Subsequently, two groups -- one of them from Gujarat -- filed a plea against postponing the NEET or JEE Main. There is furious debate over holding the JEE Main and NEET 2020 during the pandemic.
All India Council for Technical Education(AICTE) has uploaded the academic calendar for the 2020-21 academic session. It says that the last date for commencement of classes for existing students of technical courses except PGDM/PGCM courses is September 1 and for commencement of classes including lateral entry to second year courses for newly admitted students is November 1.
Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal says that the Delhi government will not open school unless it is "fully convinced" about the improved COVID-19 situation in the city
Another group of parents has filed a second PIL in the Supreme Court to ensure the two exams, JEE Main and NEET 2020, are held as per schedule in September, reports Bar & Bench. The case demanding postponements is scheduled for hearing on August 17.
After Maharashtra and Delhi submitted their affidavits on final-year exams in the Supreme Court, Odisha too informed the court today on its stand. The Odisha government, through its advocate on record, has briefed the SC that it will not be able to hold exams. It has already written to the Centre multiple times seeking reconsideration.
The Supreme Court of India has adjourned hearings in the University Grants Commission (UGC) final-year exam matter until August 18. It was hearing multiple pleas against the UGC exam guidelines issued on July 6.
The Karnataka HC declined to interfere in the schedule of the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMEDK) exam, as reported by Bar & Bench. The COMEDK exam will be held on August 19 as planned. The Karnataka government has already conducted KCET 2020 and Class 10 exams, during this pandemic.
A physics professor at Arya College, Ludhiana, tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. The college was shut down immediately and will resume work from August 17. The professor’s wife, a teacher at Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana, too tested positive. Teachers and staff who came into contact have been asked to go into self-quarantine, reported Hindustan Times.
Karnataka HC heard a plea against the UGC's July 6 guidelines directing universities to conduct final-year or final-semester examinations by September-end this year. The petitioners requested that the exams of Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) be conducted online. Grievances by students will be addressed by a grievance officer nominated by the government along with the VTU registrar, reported Bar & Bench. The university was asked to file a detailed affidavit after taking note of court's orders of today and yesterday. The matter will be next heard on September 25.
The debate on the postponement of JEE Main and NEET 2020 exams is heating up. PILs have been filed, both in favour and against, postponement. The JEE Main 2020 is scheduled to be conducted between September 1 and 6 and the NEET 2020 is scheduled for September 13. Nearly 25 lakh students have registered to appear for the two exams.
A PIL has been filed in the Karnataka High Court against holding the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMEDK) entrance exam on August 19. The petitioner seeks postponement of the exam till after the JEE Main and NEET 2020 exams. The lapses in maintaining social distancing at a few centres during the KCET exam were also mentioned.
Saurashtra University, Rajkot, recently conducted exams for medical, paramedical and all postgraduate courses from August 4 to 10. One of the students who appeared for the exam has now tested COVID-19 positive. The Times Of India has reported that the university had decided to reimburse all the expenses for the treatment of the students who get infected within 15 days.The decision to give ex gratia amounts had been taken to promote confidence among students so that they can take exams.
The National Institute of Technology, Rourkela got another COVID-19 positive case on Saturday. As per reports, the total number of cases in the residential campus is now 10. There are around 360 faculty members and 700 staff and their families residing on campus.
University of Hyderabad plans to resume online classes from August 20. Around 2,000 postgraduate students in various programs will attend these online classes. A task-force recommended that the university should start classes online.
CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has made a set of guidelines and gathered views from the officials of the higher education department on reopen colleges and universities by October 15. The guidelines include ways to improve the education system by increasing the gross enrollment ratio and adding skill based courses, reported ANI.
Two hostels of Magadh Mahila College (MMC), Patna, have become part of a COVID-19 containment zone. A total of seven COVID-19 positive cases, including the hostel superintendents, their family-members and other staff, are in quarantine there, reported The Times Of India . The university office and its surroundings are being sanitized regularly.
The India Wide Parents Association (IWPA), is planning to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) today demanding postponement of NEET and JEE Main 2020 to December.
The parents association, which moved the Supreme Court against the UGC’s exam guidelines, has demanded postponement as the cases of coronavirus pandemic have been increasing rapidly.
-Despite our Written Request, Education Ministry & NTA have not yet postponed NEET & JEE Exams— Alakh Alok Srivastava (@advocate_alakh) August 6, 2020
-Meanwhile, COVID cases are rising alarmingly & students are suffering from severe stress & anxiety
-So, we are filing a Petition in Supreme Court TODAY for postponement of NEET & JEE
The Banaras Hindu University (BHU) administration has decided to conduct assignment-based assessment for all students, in terminal and intermediate semesters, for the academic year 2019-20. Teachers will send assignments to students through email and students need to submit the assignment within 15 days.
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the South Delhi district administration arranged a compulsory COVID-19 testing camp at Saraswatipuram, a housing complex for non-teaching staff, on August 5. Around 30 residents had tested positive for the virus in the last two weeks, Hindustan Times reported.
One person at Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore has tested positive for COVID-19. They are not a direct employee of IIM Bangalore, but employed with the agency that handles outdoor horticulture work on campus, reported the The New Indian Express.
The 50 primary contacts traced to the affected person were asked for home quarantine for 14 days with the assurance of full salary.
IIT Kanpur director, Abhay Karandikar, tested COVID-19 positive yesterday. He had mild symptoms for two days following which a swab test was done and the report came positive. On advice of the doctors he was shifted to the Max Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi. IIT Kanpur has had others, including a health centre employee, test positive in July.
Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, will remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays in August due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh. The essential services will continue to work as per the direction of the head of departments and offices. AMU issued a press statement on August 4 saying: “According to a notification by the registrar...the preventive measure has been taken in the light of [the] latest advisory issued by the chief secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh.”
Students across the country have been opposing the final-year university exams made compulsory by the UGC. They have been expressing concern about writing exams in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak. The higher education minister of Karnataka, Ashwathnarayan C N, on Tuesday said that universities have been advised to address student issues, take steps and inform them.
Ashwathnarayan tweeted, “If there are any concerns about the final exams for the undergraduate students, I would advise the respective universities to remedy the problems and inform the students. For the future and professionalism of the students, backlog tests will be held for final year graduate students”.
ಅಂತಿಮ ಪದವಿ ವಿದ್ಯಾರ್ಥಿಗಳಿಗೆ ನಡೆಸುವ ಪರೀಕ್ಷೆ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಯಾವುದೇ ಗೊಂದಲಗಳಿದ್ದರೆ, ಅವುಗಳನ್ನು ನಿವಾರಿಸಿ ಅಧಿಕೃತ ಮಾಹಿತಿಯನ್ನು ವಿದ್ಯಾರ್ಥಿಗಳಿಗೆ ತಿಳಿಸಲು ಆಯಾ ವಿಶ್ವವಿದ್ಯಾಲಯಗಳಿಗೆ ಸೂಚಿಸಿದ್ದೇನೆ.— Dr. Ashwathnarayan C. N. (@drashwathcn) August 3, 2020
ವಿದ್ಯಾರ್ಥಿಗಳ ಭವಿಷ್ಯ ಹಾಗೂ ವೃತ್ತಿಪರತೆಗಾಗಿ, ಬ್ಯಾಕ್ ಲಾಗ್ ಪರೀಕ್ಷೆಗಳು ಅಂತಿಮ ವರ್ಷದ ಪದವಿ ವಿದ್ಯಾರ್ಥಿಗಳಿಗೆ ನಡೆಯಲಿವೆ. pic.twitter.com/0V3ogOXlDe
The India Wide Parents Association (IWPA), has written to the minister of education, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ requesting rescheduling of the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) to December. The letter to Pokhriyal says that due to the worsening situation, students will be under a lot of stress during the exam and will be mentally and physically harassed. The NEET 2020, for medicine, and JEE Main 2020 for engineering, are both scheduled for September.
At the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru around 13 have tested positive for COVID-19 including three students, one employee living on campus, two family-members of employees, one employee living off-campus, three security guards and three members of the housekeeping staff, according to data shared by the administration with the campus community.
The campus health centre, HC, had originally recorded 53 cases of COVID-19 by July 31. However, upon retests, several came back negative.
Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow will begin the 2020-'21 session digitally from August 4. 451 students in the postgraduate program and 53 students in the agribusiness management program will attend classes online.
Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati supplementary examination will be conducted from August 11 to August 18.
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur is set to conduct the next semester completely online, starting from August 27. Classes for the online semester at IIT Kanpur will begin from September 1 and end on November 30. The semester will close by December 22, 2020.
Offline exams for terminal semester students of LLB courses as well as for undergraduate, postgraduate and other integrated courses of the university have been scheduled for September. Terminal exams for three-year degree courses to be held after colleges reopen. Intermediate semesters exams will be evaluated on the basis of internal assessment and past performances and for practical exams, the evaluation will be based on assignments or projects. Other instructions to be made for students who cannot take the exams.
IIM-Kolkata’s two-year flagship MBA programme for the Academic Session 2020-2022 will commence from August 10. The session will begin with online classes with approx 480 students from across the country.
The two-day examinations on Thursday and Friday are being conducted at 497 centres across Karnataka and 1.94 lakh students have enrolled for the test. 40 students writing the exam have tested positive for COVID-19, including 12 in Bengaluru. "Elaborate arrangements have been made for the COVID- 19 infected persons to appear for the exam. They were brought to the examination centres and dropped back to their respective places in the department's ambulance," the Deputy Chief Minister said.
Delhi University's 2020-21 academic session will commence from August 10, the university has announced. The session will begin with online classes for the third, fifth and seventh semesters of UG courses and third semester of PG courses.
Delhi HC allowed a student to withdraw the plea challenging UGC guidelines as the issue is pending before the Supreme Court. The court said, “Granting leave and liberty as sought, the petition is dismissed as withdrawn.” Justice Jayant Nath, who conducted the hearing through video conferencing, also granted liberty to the student to approach the Supreme Court with his plea.
Around 88,000 students sat for KEAM exams across various centres in the state, the New Indian Express reported. It said that another student from Kozhikode tested positive on Tuesday. By July 22, 10 students had tested positive who appeared for the KEAM entrance exam.
Under Unlock 3.0 starting August 1, the ministry of home affairs has issued fresh guidelines on managing the coronavirus pandemic in areas outside containment zones. As per instructions, schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed till August 31, 2020.
According to Bar & Bench, Karnataka HC has said, "'Examination cannot be stalled. All students who come to give examination should be allowed to write CET. The Court is only looking at the decision making process and not the decision itself.” Hall tickets of the examination would also serve as passes to move out of containment zones. The state will provide buses throughout all wards. If specific requests are received, the state will cater to them as well.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said the state might reopen schools from September 5, Teachers' Day, if the COVID-19 situation improves in August, reported the Times of India. The final decision will be made by the end of August. Addressing a press conference, Banerjee said that the classes will be held on alternate days for a month followed by the holidays for Durga puja in October.
Authorities of Prakasam district, Andhra Pradesh, have established 11 new COVID-19 care centres, reported The New Indian Express. Most of them are at educational campuses. Centres at the Indian Institute of Information Technology, SSN College and RISE Engineering College along with centres at PACE Engineering College, QUIS College, Singarayakonda-Malineni Lakshmaiah Engineering College and Chirala Engineering College have been established to cater to low-risk and high-risk COVID-19 patients separately.
The Congress-affiliate, National Students' Union of India has filed a PIL in the Karnataka High Court to postpone the Karnataka Common Entrance Test or KCET exams which are scheduled to be held on July 30 and 31. Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, students have repeatedly demanded cancellation of the examination. Posts addressed to the education ministers of the state and Centre were tagged with #Postponekcet2020
NSUI Karnataka has filed a PIL in the respected High Court of Karnataka requesting to intervene and postpone KCET exams which is scheduled to conduct on July 30th and 31st.#PostponeKCET#NoExamsInCovid@Neerajkundan @guptar @Ericjusa @manjunathansui pic.twitter.com/8pl7s8aEyy— NSUI Karnataka (@NSUIKarnataka) July 27, 2020
The Supreme Court accepted the petition filed by a group of 31 students challenging the UGC's decision to compulsorily hold exams for final-year or final-semester students by the end of September in offline, online or blended mode. Who are these 31 students in SC against UGC? They include a student from Assam troubled by the floods, a student from Latur who is 450 km from his college and an Odisha student who suffers from asthma.
Dear Friends,— Alakh Alok Srivastava (@advocate_alakh) July 27, 2020
I am glad to share that today Supreme Court has Admitted our UGC Petition & has directed UGC/Govt to file their Reply within 3 Days.
Thereafter, we will file our Rejoinder & the matter will be finally heard on coming Friday (31st July)🙏🏻#StudentsInSCAgainstUGC https://t.co/0jBBSBjR8i
COVID-19 has prompted many institutes, including several IITs, to start the first semester of the new academic session online. However many students don't have internet or laptop at home. Following IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur has started a fundraising campaign to procure laptops and internet subscriptions for 600 students.
IIT Bombay launched its fundraiser in late June and by July 9, a single batch of alumni had contributed Rs 1.25 crore.
The Punjab Engineering College Chandigarh has also created a COVID Emergency Fund for students facing financial difficulties. The fund will be utilised to provide scholarships to students whose parents have lost their jobs.
From July 26, e-content for selected courses of BTech final-year and polytechnic programmes will be telecast on Channel 15 of Swayamprabha in Lucknow. The telecast will be inaugurated by Anandiben Patel, Governor of Uttar Pradesh, announced Vineet Kansal, Vice-Chancellor, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Lucknow.
e-contents of select courses of BTech Final year & Polytechnic on #Channel15 Swayamprabha telecast to be inaugurated by Honl Chancellor @AKTU_Lucknow Madam @anandibenpatel on 26 July 2020 pic.twitter.com/Hjeg06B5qq— Prof. Vineet kansal (@Vineetkansal2) July 24, 2020
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) recently had two employees testing COVID-19 positive due to which the Ludhiana campus of the university was closed till July 24. The Vice Chancellor stated that online classes were to be continued along with essential field activities as before. The campus was open for administrative and non-teaching work only. Resident faculty, staff and a few students were on campus. Mandatory research work was also ongoing as experimental crops in the fields could not be ignored.
Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), Belgaum, released a circular clarifying the details on backlog exams following the UGC guidelines. The circular does not mention a specific date for the exams but states that backlog exams will be scheduled to “reduce the burden of carrying backlog subjects to next odd semester”.
However, students are complaining about exams in the midst of the pandemic. A student of an affiliated college wrote that exams are being conducted in offline mode even though his college hostel has been turned into a quarantine centre.
I am final year student of a college under VTU .— Vibhor gupta (@Vibhorg37712746) July 15, 2020
My college hostel was turned to quarantine center a few days ago and all hostelers were told to take their luggage now they are conducting offline exams from next month and calling students from all over India .
The higher education minister of Odisha, Arun Kumar Sahoo, has written to HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' reiterating that it is not possible for the state to hold final-year university exams. Sahoo has requested the minister to not make the exams compulsory as the UGC guidelines issued on July 6 has done. Odisha's Department of Higher Education had already written to the Centre once, opposing the guidelines, and on Thursday, it posted Sahoo's letter on its official social media account. The letter also reiterates the point made earlier that many of the educational institutions in the state now house quarantine centres.
On July 6 University Grants Commission (UGC) issued revised exam-related guidelines which was to hold the final year exams by September. UGC informed that 603 universities have either conducted the final year examination or is planning to hold it. The feedback was received from 818 universities in total. Today a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) is up for the hearing in the Supreme Court against UGC exam-related guidelines. The petitioners are demanding the cancelation of the final year examination and evaluate students based on their past performance.
Around 95 students in India Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore completed the two-week quarantine period of COVID-19, according to reports from Orissa Post. Those who could not connect to the online classes or had joined the one-year Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management (EPGP) course were on campus.
Over March and April, campuses around India started vacating out but they had staff residing and students who could not go home. Over June and July, cases were reported from these campuses.
In mid-July, a non-teaching employee and two family-members tested positive for COVID-19 at IIT Patna, reported the Times of India. A few PhD and BTech students along with faculty and other staff were residing on campus.
Earlier, on June 24, the New Indian Express reported that a resident of the faculty quarters area in Indian Institute of Science Bengaluru, or IISc, had tested positive. The IISc put its campus reopening plan on hold.
On June 13, the New Indian Express reported that a PhD scholar from IIT Madras had tested positive for COVID-19. At that time, about 200 hostel residents who could not go home or were foreign students, were on campus. Classes had been suspended with the lockdown in March.
On July 14 a health centre staff member tested positive for COVID-19 at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur and the institute's “COVID Management Strategy”, approved by the director Abhay Karandikar and emailed to the campus community just two days before, was immediately put to use. The document has a five-point COVID-19 management strategy for the campus which involves contact tracing, quarantine procedure, covid testing, hospitalisation and payments and campus health monitoring.
A COVID-19 testing camp will be organised at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on July 23 by the district administration, the university has said. The centre will be a the faculty club and all the social distancing norms will be followed.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported from within the university campus, when a campus pharmacist had tested positive on June 6. Then, on July 7, JNU's Periyar Hostel was sealed and 50 students asked to be in isolation for 15 days after two students from the hostel tested positive for COVID-19, reported the Hindustan Times.
Two students had tested positive on July 21 and today, three more students have been found to be infected by the coronavirus. A case was also registered against at least 300 people for gathering outside one of the exam centres in the city to receive the candidates after the exam. The case was registered on July 17 after the picture of the crowd appeared in one of the newspapers.
Even after over 600 institutes had been converted into isolation centres by the end of May, the sudden spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in July caused an urgent need of more COVID care centres everywhere in India. Even more hostels were vacated and used to fight the pandemic in July. Here are some of the institutions that were co-opted:
PUNJAB: Punjab engineering college set up a quarantine centre with 270 beds in the Shivalik hostel of their premises.
BANGALORE: Bangalore University's Jnanabharati campus vacated two of the hostels so that 750 beds could be set up, the Deccan Herald reported.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Government Siddha College, Inchakkal will be used as a ‘Parireksha’ centre, reported the New Indian Express. Parireksha centres are for patients suffering from chronic illnesses and bedridden patients who were placed in quarantine over suspected contact with COVID-19 patients.
GOA: Goa Engineering College and National Institute of Technology converted to covid care centre, reported Herald Goa.
CHENNAI: A building of the National Institute of Ageing has been turned into a 500-bed COVID-19 hospital for patients, and its hostel as a COVID-19 Care Centre for 250 patients, The Hindu reported.
MYSORE: Karnataka State Open University’s (KSOU) Academic Bhawan will also turn into a quarantine centre with 600 beds, reported the Deccan Herald.
The COVID-19 care centre in Signhad college had the same entrance as the swab collection centre, causing high risk to the visitors who may otherwise test negative for the virus. Pune Mirror reports that according to Sambhaji Khot, assistant municipal commissioner at Pune Municipal Corporation's (PMC) Sinhgad ward office the swab collection centre will soon be shifted from the campus.
Two students who attended Kerala Engineering Architecture Medical (KEAM) entrance exam at two different centres in Thiruvananthapuram have tested positive for covid-19, reports the Asian News International
Two students who appeared for Kerala Engineering Architecture Medical (KEAM) examination at two different exam centres in Thiruvananthapuram have tested positive for #COVID19.— ANI (@ANI) July 21, 2020
Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya (RGPV) will set up a 350-bed covid-care centre. Patients with mild symptoms or the asymptomatic will be kept in quarantine here. The patients will be treated as per ICMR guidelines. Divisional Commissioner Kavindra Kiyawat along with collector Avinash Lavania examined the covid center in campus.
However, Times of India reports that there is resistance to the quarantine centre from teachers and other staff staying on campus.
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