Published weekly, the COVID-19 Impact on Indian students highlights news drawn from various sources focusing on Indian students who are studying abroad and the ones who aspire to study abroad during the times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This edition of the COVID-19 Impact on Indian students covers news articles from August 10 – 17, 2020.

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Indian government looking forward to increasing college seats to help students who had to give up study abroad plan

15th August 2020 | The Print

The government is looking at the possibility of increasing the number of seats in Indian institutions to accommodate students who had planned to go abroad for higher studies but could not because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has set up a committee called “Stay in India and Study in India” — comprising members from regulators All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and University Grants Commission (UGC) — that has been tasked with the responsibility of working out the modalities of this plan in consultation with colleges and universities across the country. The committee will deliberate on the issue and explore the possibility of increasing the number of seats in Indian institutions. The increasing number of seats in one of four proposals the committee is exploring to ease the impact of the pandemic on students.

Disarray in international flights disrupts plans of Indian students studying overseas

13th August 2020 | Money Control

Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, there is rising uncertainty about what happens to students stuck in a foreign land after their course or those who want to come back for a short trip to be with their families. Industry sources predict that places such as Italy, Denmark, Japan, and Australia are among those where Indian students are stuck. About one million Indian students study overseas and it is estimated that 85% of them have returned home amidst the pandemic and are studying online. International flights have been halted till August 31 and currently, air bubbles or special flights between a fixed set of countries, operate apart from the repatriation flights under the Vande Bharat Mission. Education consultants are of the view that the rise in cases also increases the uncertainty about these students being able to go back once they are repatriated.

Indian colleges see a spurt in applications as COVID forces students to ditch foreign plans

11th August 2020 | The Print

With COVID-19 forcing many students to either delay or cancel their plans to go abroad for higher education, Indian institutions are seeing a spurt in the number of applications. From government institutions like Delhi University to their private counterparts, colleges and universities across India have witnessed a much higher number of applications this year than previous years. Delhi University, which offers the largest number of seats in undergraduate courses among central universities, has seen its applications rise by 18% this year. The application window for UG admissions is still open. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on foreign-education avenues in multiple ways. For one, the resumption of normal international travel remains under a cloud, and there are fears some countries may maintain a restricted entry for foreigners until the pandemic has been tackled. All this seems to have led many students aspiring for a foreign degree to recalibrate their plans.

Students from Nepal studying overseas put off plans to return home as virus cases spikes

16th August 2020 | Rising Nepal Daily

With the growing risk of coronavirus and the apparent weakness in adherence to preventive measures by the government as well citizens, Nepalese students studying abroad and migrant workers working in good companies feel safer in those respective countries now than in Nepal. The COVID–19 pandemic has been rising sharply in the recent days in Nepal. The infection ratio is high and the death toll from the coronavirus is gradually increasing. Nepal has recorded over 25,000 confirmed COVID–19 cases and about 100 deaths so far and the fear of infection is ever-growing. Migrant workers and even students who wanted to return to Nepal are now afraid to do so due to the lack of safety measures against the coronavirus and lack of job security in Nepal.

Sri Lankan universities resume normal academic activities

15th August 2020 | South Asia Monitor

The University Grants Commission (UGC), Sri Lanka have announced that the academic activities of all universities belonging to the national university system will be resumed from 17th August 2020. The regulatory body had allowed the examinations of the third-year students of medical faculties to be held from July 15, while also gradually expanding the number of students allowed to attend university premises.

YouTube Discussions

Entrepreneurship during COVID-19

12th August 2020 | IILM Academy of Higher Learning, Lucknow Campus

The session is hosted for students currently pursuing graduation and post-graduation programs (and their parents) and it addresses the opportunities and challenges for entrepreneurs during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch Video

Exam Updates

Delhi University Open Book Examinations: Political Science students receive mock papers for final exams

16th August 2020 | India Today

Final-year students of BA (H) political science got a mock test paper of modern political philosophy for the actual test. Delhi University took 30 minutes to upload a fresh paper by when many students had started answering the old one.

Technical issues persist in Delhi University open-book examinations

16th August 2020 | DU Express

There have been several claims by the students that they faced several issues while uploading their answer sheets on the University portal. On the first day of the examination, many technical glitches arose as the students tried to upload the answer sheets. The problems did not subside on the second day as well. The common service centres of DU stated that only some students who faced issues while uploading their answer sheets are availing the Open Book Examinations (OBE) services.

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to conduct optional, Class 10 and 12 compartment exams in September

16th August 2020 | The Indian Express

The CBSE will conduct the compartment, optional exam in September for those who could not clear their class 10 or 12 board exams in their first try, and students who could not appear in the paper cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic and had applied for Improvement of Performance.

Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main 2020 Admit Card Release Delayed

16th August 2020 | Careers 360

JEE Main admit card release is delayed. National Testing Agency (NTA) was expected to release the JEE Main admit card on August 15 but has not done so. NTA is now expected to announce the JEE Main admit card release on August 17. JEE Main 2020 admit card will be released on the official website jeemain.nta.nic.in as well as the NTA’s official website nta.ac.in.

Maharashtra firm on not conducting university exams

13th August 2020 | The Hindu

The Maharashtra government has informed the Centre that it is not prepared to conduct final-year university exams considering the number of COVID-19 cases in the state. However, the University Grants Commission (UGC) and State governor have asked that the exams go ahead. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in a recent video conference held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the coronavirus situation, said that the State government is firm on its stand against conducting university exams. Thackeray demanded that final-year exams for non-professional courses not be conducted considering the spread of coronavirus.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) allows opening of educational institutions for final year University exams

13th August 2020 | Hindustan Times

MHA has informed the Supreme Court that it has permitted the limited opening of educational institutions across the country for conducting the final year examinations as ordered by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on July 6. As per the UGC directive, colleges/Universities were to examine before September 30, 2020, either online, offline, or blending both means.

Delhi cancels final exams for all diploma courses, to promote students on basis of internals, previous year’s performance

12th August 2020 | Firstpost

The Board of Technical Education (BTE), Government of Delhi has cancelled all even semester examinations, including the final semester, for diploma course this year. The decision has been taken due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The students will be promoted based on internal assessment and their previous year marks. 50% weightage will be given to the internal assessment of students, while the remaining 50% will be on the marks secured by them in the last year’s final examinations.

Nepal puts Secondary Education Examination (SEE) results on hold in wake of COVID-19

14th August 2020 | The Kathmandu Post

As the lockdown continued, the Cabinet decided to cancel the examinations for this year and issue certificates based on internal evaluation conducted by the respective schools. Schools did send the grades at the end of June but the Office of the Controller of Examinations under the National Examination Board is yet to announce the final results. It has verified the results schools sent and has prepared the certificates. The results of the 482,219 students who had registered for SEE examinations were ready to be announced. But then came a spike in Covid-19 cases mainly in Kathmandu Valley and some districts in the Tarai, prompting it to hold the plan. Officials at the examination controller’s office said they had decided to postpone the publication of results by a week fearing that it would increase student’s mobility amid the threat of the pandemic.

Bangladesh decides on automatic promotion of students in K-12 school education if COVID-19 stays

12th August 2020 | The Business Standard

Primary and secondary school students will be promoted automatically to the next class, without examinations, if the novel coronavirus situation continues for a long time. However, the examinations, especially Primary Education Completion (PEC), Junior School Certificate (JSC) and its equivalent examinations, will be held, on a limited scale, if the education ministry and primary and mass education ministry can reopen educational institutions before December. The National Curriculum and Textbook Board is now analysing the recommendations made by the Bangladesh Examination Development Unit (BEDU) and the National Academy of Primary Education.

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