Colleges are in a fix after the University Grants Commission (UGC) released guidelines on September 22, suggesting that First Year Undergraduate (UG) and Postgraduate (PG) programmes semester examinations of the academic year 2020-2021 should be conducted in March and August, respectively. UGC stated that the entire fees, including all the charges, be refunded in totality with zero cancellation charges on the account of cancellation or migration up to November 30, for the academic session.
As per the guidelines approved by the UGC taking into account the COVID-19 pandemic, the academic session should begin from November 1. However, colleges say that they have already started online lectures since September 1, 2020. The guidelines state, "Examinations should be conducted from March 8 to March 26, 2021. The following semester examinations should be conducted from August 9 to August 21, 2021."
Degree colleges state they need further clarification from the University of Mumbai (MU) regarding the academic calendar. Parag Ajagaonkar, principal of NM College, Vile Parle said, "We will have to wait for further clarification from MU. We are already conducting regular online lectures." Another principal of a South Mumbai college said, "We were planning to conduct first semester examinations after the Diwali break or by December end. However, the new calendar has suggested different dates with no appropriate summer break for both students and teachers."
Further, the UGC has stated, "In order to avoid the financial hardship faced by parents due to the lockdown, full refund of fees should be made on account of the cancellation of admissions or migration of students up to November 30, 2020, for this very session
as a special case. To be crystal clear, the entire fees, including all charges, be refunded in totality (zero cancellation charges) on account of the cancellation or migration up to November 30. Therefore, on cancellation or withdrawal of admissions up to December 31, the entire fee collected from a student will be refunded in full after deduction of not more than Rs 1,000 as processing fee."