The government on Saturday postponed both Madhyamik and HS exams—the state board Class X and XII board exams—that were slated for June 1 and June 15 respectively, as appearing for tests amid a raging pandemic was likely to be a health risk for students, guardians and teachers. The new dates of the examinations have not been announced yet. Both CBSE and ISC have also postponed their class XII examinations.
Several principals TOI spoke to said this year admissions to UG courses might get even more delayed than that last year, when the process had started in the second week of August and continued till the first week of January at many colleges and universities. “Even if the Plus-II examinations are held in July, the results won’t be published in before the end of August. This means, colleges cannot start the admission process before the first week of September. Going by the experience we had last year, nobody can be sure when it will be completed,” said the principal of a south Kolkata college. Students who took admission to undergraduate first semester last year had only 10 weeks to finish the syllabus in online classes before appearing for their exams to the second semester.
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College campuses have been shut since March 2020 after the outbreak of the pandemic and ever since, classes have been going on online. In February this year, several colleges and universities gradually started resuming some activities on campuses, like allowing access to libraries for select students, but the second wave stopped that.
Delay in admissions will mean lag in semester. “Ideally, the first semester begins in July and the examinations are held in December,” said another principal. “But last year, the first semester classes started on December 16 at almost all institutes, barring one or two. This year, it might get delayed further,” said the principal of a north Kolkata college.
Like last year, the admission process is likely to be held online. “It is going to be a challenge but we did it last year, and so we have an idea,” said Tapan Kumar Poddar, president of the Calcutta University chapter of All Bengal Principals’ Council.