Published weekly, the COVID-19 Impact on South Asian students highlights news drawn from various sources focusing on South Asian 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 South Asian students covers news articles from September 07 – 14, 2020.

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Delhi University trying to resolve issues of students aspiring to go abroad for higher studies

11th September 2020 | The Times of India

The Delhi University told the Delhi High Court that its officials are exploring the best possible solution to address the issue of early results for the students who have got admission in foreign universities for higher studies. The counsel for Delhi University said till now there are eight students of postgraduate programmes and 180 students of undergraduate courses who have requested for comfort letters to be submitted to foreign universities for admission. The University said students of PG courses, who requested comfort letters to be sent to foreign universities for admission, can be prioritised for declaring their confidential results. The high court said the aspect of the Cumulative Grade Point Average vis-a-vis Comparative Grade Point Average for assessing the results of the UG final year students is still not clear from the affidavit of the Delhi University. Appropriate light shall be thrown on this issue on the next date of hearing. The varsity had earlier told the court that the results will be declared at the end of October.

Indian students cross Attari border to take exams in Pakistan

11th September 2020 | Times of India

Despite the pandemic showing no sign of slowing down, over 200 Indian students crossed over to Pakistan from Attari international border to appear in final year examinations. The Pakistan government has announced to reopen all the educational institutions from September 15. However as against a list of 354 students, only 204 students — the majority from Union territory Jammu and Kashmir (UTJK) — went to Pakistan, while the rest of them shelved their plans till the next batch leaves. Also, 74 other persons crossed the border. Most of these students left unwillingly and against the wishes of their parents who wanted the Pakistan government to defer its decision of reopening educational institutes for another month. Other than students from J&K, there were 80 other persons had arrived at the border who were stranded in various states of India.

China asks Indian students to stay in touch with their Chinese colleges for the information to return

08th September 2020 | The Economic Times

China has asked hundreds of Indian students stranded back home due to the coronavirus pandemic to remain in touch with their respective colleges and follow instructions to protect their academic progress through online courses as foreign students are still not allowed to enter the country. Over 23,000 Indian students studied different courses in Chinese universities and colleges of which over 21,000 were enrolled to study MBBS, according to last year’s data. Most of these students left for India during the Chinese New Year holidays in January, just around the time when the coronavirus pandemic began spreading in China following which international travel has been badly disrupted. Indian students are accordingly advised to remain in touch with their respective Universities/Colleges, the Indian Embassy said, adding that they are advised to monitor the website of the Indian Embassy/Consulates in China and their social media channels to remain updated about the evolving situation in respect of the return of foreign students to China.

Opinion: Australian Universities should reduce fees for Indian students for stronger post-COVID ties

08th September 2020 | News 18

The Association of Australian Education Representatives held a virtual convention and issued a blunt message: “reduce fees”. The association made three calls: “reduce international student fees, improve post-study work options and refocus universities if Australia wants to be a destination of choice in a post-COVID-19 world.” Australia attracts around 500,000 international tertiary students per year, with India currently around 60,000. Australia was recently second preferred location behind the USA, with Canada and the UK closely following. It has been tough during Covid-19 for Indian students with 61% of working students have lost their jobs, one-third of students reported going without food quite often to pay rent and only 13% of providers had reduced fees in response to the pandemic. More help has since been made available. The association wants all international fees for 2021 for continuing students to be reduced by a minimum of 25%, and students who are currently studying part of the course in online mode should be further subsidised. Australian universities need to add a new direction to their relations with India.

Youtube Discussions

Impact of COVID-19 on Study Abroad

8th September 2020 | HDFC Credila

The study abroad dreams of many Indian students has come to a haul due to uncertainties about COVID-19. In this session, experts who have closely studied the aftermath of COVID-19 on the higher education sector of countries such as Canada, USA, Germany, Ireland talk about the change in the semester start, amendments of policies for international students due to sealed international borders, visa process, online courses, post-degree work visa, etc. Watch Video

Exam Updates

National Testing Agency (NTA) Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) Main Result 2020 declared

11th September 2020 | One India

The NTA JEE Main Result 2020 has been declared. The result is now available on the official website. Out of the 858,000 candidates registered for JEE Main 2020, 74% (635,000) appeared for the exam held from September 1 to 6.

Joint Entrance Examination (JEE Advanced) 2020 registration begins

12th September 2020 | The Times of India

The online registration for the JEE (Advanced) 2020 is now open on the official website of the exam and the last day of registration are September 17. The top 250,000 successful candidates in B.E./B.Tech. paper of JEE (Main) 2020 can register for the JEE Advanced exam 2020 scheduled on September 27.

National Law Aptitude Test (NLAT) 2020 concludes, answer key released

12th September 2020 | News by Careers 360

National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore has released the NLAT answer key. The university conducted the National Law Aptitude Test (NLAT) 2020 on September 12 for admission to the 5-year integrated BA LLB and one-year LLM programmes. The exam for the UG programme was held in three sessions and the exam for admission to the PG programme was held in a single session.

National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2020: 85-90% of over 1.5 million students take exam amid Covid-19 concerns

13th September 2020 | Hindustan Times

Of more than 1.5 million candidates registered for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), around 85–90% appeared for the examination on September 13. To maintain social distancing, the NTA increased the number of exam centres from 2,546 to 3,843, while reducing the number of candidates per room has to 12 from 24.

2,000 final-year postgraduate and undergraduate students to appear in the second phase of University of Delhi’s (DU) online open-book exams (OBE) on September 14

13th September 2020 | Outlook

Nearly 2,000 final-year PG and UG students of the DU will be appearing in the second phase of the OBE on September 14. According to the Dean of Colleges, 10,000 students have registered for the second phase of the online OBE and 3,000 of them have opted for writing the exams at the designated centres. The second phase is being conducted for those students who could not take the exams in August. In the second phase, the students can write the exams online or at the university’s exam centres.

IP University to conduct final semester exams by the fourth week of September

10th September 2020 | Jagran Josh

IP University also known as Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University has announced that it will be conducting the final year exams for the students from the fourth week of September 2020. The university has decided to conduct the exams in the offline mode (pen-paper mode). Students who are to appear for the final year exams are advised to visit the official website to check the exam schedule.

Mumbai University tells colleges to look for tech solutions for exams

10th September 2020 | The Times of India

Mumbai University issued guidelines for the conduct of final-year exams for 200,000 students in over 750 affiliated colleges. Since the exams, scheduled to be held between October 1 and 17, are decentralised, most of the responsibilities lie on individual colleges and ‘lead colleges’ in clusters. While the guidelines make way for lead colleges to take over the process, some have raised doubts over the smooth conduct of exams. The university’s circular clarified that colleges will have to arrange for a technology solution to conduct the exams at their level. It also mentioned that results will be out in two days and that re-evaluation will not be offered. While it recommends giving students sample question sets and holding mock tests to familiarise them with the MCQ (multiple choice questions) format, questions can be asked from any topic in the syllabus.

Anna University plans to conduct final year exams online from Sept 22 to 29

8th September 2020 | The Times of India

Anna University announced that it plans to conduct final semester exams online for UG and PG students from September 22 to 29. The students can appear for the examination from their home using devices such as laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets with the internet, camera, and microphone facilities. The question paper will be of multiple choice-based questions (MCQ) type. The university plans to hold an hourlong online test for final semester students. Internal assessment will have a 70% weightage and the online test will have a 30% weightage.

Visva-Bharati (VB) to hold final exams this month

13th September 2020 | The Times of India

Visva-Bharati University, a public research central university located in West Bengal, will be holding online examinations for final-semester students in September. Founded by Rabindranath Tagore, the Visva-Bharati University has decided to publish the results within a fortnight of the last exam, which will be held on September 30. The university authorities took stock of preparedness in a meeting held at Bangladesh Bhavan and have left it to departments to arrange examination dates in line with UGC guidelines.

Bangladesh: Grade XI classes in Bangladesh to begin from October

13th September 2020 | Dhaka Tribune

The admission process for grade XI started on September 13 according to the new enrolment admission schedule, and it will end on September 17. Following the completion of admission procedures, classes for grade XI are set to start from the first week of October. The classes will be held online.

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