UGC Guidelines


Universities and colleges across the country have been issued guidelines by the University Grant’s  Commision (UGC) to address psychological concerns of students during the COVID-19 lockdown.


“During the period of national lockdown, it is equally important to address any kind of mental health and psychological concerns of the student community during and after the COVID-19”, said UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain in a recent notice addressed to vice-chancellors and principals across the nation. 


UGC has therefore directed all colleges and universities to set up mental health helplines for assisting students during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The helplines would be regularly monitored and managed by Counsellors and other identified faculty members who are capable of guiding students in the right direction. 


Official Notice:



UGC emphasized that in order to reassure the student community to avoid any kind of stress or panic in the prevailing situation vis-a-vis their studies, health and other issues, all universities must take measures for mental health and psychological well-being of their students.


The commission appealed to colleges to remain calm and stress free. It also suggested forming COVID-19 help groups of students headed by hostel wardens or senior faculty members that can identify their friends or classmates in need of help and provide necessary counselling to deal with stress and anxiety. 


“There should be regular mentoring of students through interactions that can be achieved via telephones, e-mails, digital and social media platforms”, Jain added. 


The official video:


Caption: Colleges are expected to share videos on managing one’s mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak through their websites.


UGC has also shared the Psycho-Social toll-free helpline number of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare – 0804611007. Students and faculty members can contact this helpline to seek professional counselling to resolve their mental health concerns.

Feature Image Credits: Zee News

Aishwaryaa Kunwar

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University Grants Commission (UGC) has requested the current government to introduce on-demand examinations at the undergraduate level to reduce failures and malpractices that happen during scheduled exams. UGC also wants to ensure that the decision to appear for the exam comes from the students and not the institution.

The University Grants Commission (UGC)  panel has suggested that on-demand examinations be introduced for students at the undergraduate level. UGC has proposed for a National Board to conduct examinations emphasising on “exams should be held when the learner is ready” and urged the current Modi government to introduce the initiative.

This proposal would be a reform by the UGC panel on evaluation. The proposal would reorganise and rearrange matters that relate to examinations which were set up in May 2018 in a committee that was chaired by Vice Chancellor, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University), Pune, M.M. Salunkhe.

According to the report submitted by UGC last week, the UGC panel stated, “Assessment can take place when the learners consider themselves ready to appear. Thus readiness depends on the learner and not institutions.” The panel also added that this initiative would lead to a reduction in failures and also malpractices that occur during scheduled examinations.

The plan suggested an extensive use of automation and technology, with question papers being drawn from a question bank. The Board suggested that the on-demand exams should first begin for distance mode programmes and then be implemented to all other eligible programmes without any age or eligibility restrictions.

UGC also recommended setting up of a National Board that would deal with the operation and execution of these on-demand examinations. “Uniform grading and credit transfer policies must be evolved for this to work”, said the report by the UGC panel.

This evaluation reform is based on the poor nature of University’s productivity. It also aims to change the dearth of employment that Indian graduates and postgraduates face.

Though many students welcome the idea, thinking it to be synonymous to the GMAT tests, others remain sceptical. Nidhi, second-year student, Daulat Ram College told DU Beat, “The idea is good and is definitely an attempt to show that universities and the educational committees are trying to be more student-friendly, and are finally catching up to international standards.”

She further added, “However, I don’t think universities- or least the government universities have enough resources to be able to implement these efficiently. This will ultimately lead to chaos and in the end, it will up to us students to bear the brunt of all the poor implementation.”

Teachers also echoed similar concerns about the inefficiency of the suggestion. As reported by The Print, Professor Amita Singh, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University said, “A university is not a call centre that can work 24X7 to fulfil the demands of innumerable students. Academic preparation needs discipline, a conducive environment for students to think, discuss and debate while preparing for exams. There should also be the availability of libraries, books, coffee shops and hostels.”

However, keeping the debate of efficiency aside, it must be noted that while the UGC issued guidelines to all universities in 2015 to offer students a choice based credit system, the current reality is that there is little flexibility or choice for learners. It added that students should have the freedom to opt for courses beyond their core specialisations.

Feature Image Credits: India Today

Shreya Juyal

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Ahead of the nation-wide ban on plastics scheduled for 2nd October, University Grants Commission (UGC) issues guidelines to ban use of plastics in institutions, urges ‘Swachhata Hee Sewa’.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued guidelines to all the higher education institutions across the country to impose a ban on items made from single-use plastics such as bags, packaging materials, straws, and bottles. The move comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’splan of launching a nation-wide revolution against single-use plastics from 2nd October this year, which will mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi – the face of the Swachha Bharat Campaign of the nation. The guidelines issued by the UGC state that the institutions of higher education across the country should systematically ban the use of plastic in their campuses and replace plastics with “environment friendly substitutes.” The guidelines also instruct that every higher education institution in the country should ban single-use plastics in its canteens, hostels and shopping complexes in the institution’s premises.

The guidelines also mandate that institutions must “carry out awareness drives and sensitization workshops on the harmful impacts of single-use plastics, mandate all students to avoid bringing non-bio-degradable plastic items to the institution, (and) install necessary alternative facilities like water units to avoid the use of plastic.”

Prime Minister Modi, in his Independence Day speech, had urged citizens to eliminate the use of single-use plastic, besides suggesting that shopkeepers should provide eco-friendly bags to the customers as an alternative. In his monthly “Mann Ki Baat” address subsequently, he had said that the time has come for the citizens to join hands in curbing single-use plastic.

The decision to curb the use of single-use plastics has been received with a positive response by the institutions of University of Delhi, with colleges such as Maitreyi College and Jesus and Mary College initiating ‘Green Walks’ and cleanliness drives across their campuses to encourage students to keep their plastic usage to the minimum. Dhara, the Eco-Club of Daulat Ram College also organized a drive to minimize the use of plastics in their campus.

The move by the UGC has been brought about keeping in mind the emergence of plastic wastes as one of the biggest environmental concerns adversely impacting soil, water and the health of citizens at large. Excess consumption of plastics combined with limited waste disposal systems in urban areas has become the challenge for disposal systems, and has choked the water bodies in these areas. According to the UGC, educational institutions have the unique spread and influence to educate the students and households on the need for avoiding the use of plastics and hence, it has issued the guidelines.

The guidelines also ask the higher education institutions, which have adopted villages under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, to undertake a campaign in their adopted villages till they are converted into ‘plastic-free villages’ through promoting awareness and encouraging shift to alternative products.

Feature Image Credits: The Hindu

Bhavya Pandey

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