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 October 05 – 12, 2020.

Stay Safe.

India—SpiceJet airlines operated charter flights to Georgia with 176 Indian students

10th October 2020 | The Times of India

SpiceJet airlines operated its maiden charter flight to Georgia flying 176 students from Chennai to Tbilisi. The budget airline also operated another charter flight to Georgia from Kochi for 174 Indian students. SpiceJet has repatriated over 1.6 lakh stranded Indian and foreign nationals to and from countries such as UK, Italy, Canada, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Netherlands, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Sri Lanka.

India—Opinion: COVID-19 heavily impacting on Indians studying abroad

10th October 2020 | The Asian News

The coronavirus emergency has had a very severe impact on Indian youth studying in foreign universities.  Universities in many countries have sent foreign students back to their countries of origin, offering virtual lessons in exchange, which were deemed unsatisfactory by those concerned and their families. After China, India is the state with the most students attending degree courses abroad.  According to data released by the Foreign Ministry in 2019, there are more than 200,000 students enrolled in universities in the United States. Having lost their part-time jobs as a result of the pandemic, those who have decided not to return to India find it difficult to pay for room and board.  The most serious problem is the lack of certainty about the reopening of courses. Most students who have chosen a foreign institution want to experience a different culture, and then settle in the host country.  They note that spending money just to attend online classes is unfair because they pay the tuition fee – which the university does not want to reduce – to access the library, laboratory and other services that are currently unavailable.

Bangladesh—Opinion: Students worried about the foreign study

11th October 2020 | NewsAge

Uncertainty gripped Bangladeshi students who enrolled at foreign universities over getting visas to go to countries like the US and Canada as many of them have suspended their visa issuance processes for months amid COVID-19 pandemic. Several students expressed that they were frustrated at the delay in and uncertainty over getting visas from the embassies of the countries concerned while most of the universities had already started online classes for summer and fall semesters and opened admission processes for the spring semester. Some of the students also expressed that they were passing anxious time as the university authorities told them that they would help them to get visas once the COVID-19 situation became normal. Many others expressed that they had already lost a semester for not been able to continue in the online classes that ran till late night in Bangladesh for a time gap with the respective countries. About 100 university teachers who obtained Commonwealth Scholarships through the University Grants Commission are also facing troubles to go to their respective destinations.

Bangladesh—Teachers, students to be provided with recovery strategy

07th October 2020 | The Financial Express

The World Bank (WB) will help Bangladesh develop content for online education during COVID-19 and recover from its impact in the post-pandemic period. The Washington-based lender will facilitate distance learning, recovery strategy for teachers and students after reopening educational institutions and building resilience from the coronavirus disease. It has come up with its USD 15-million grant to help Bangladesh recover from Covid-19’s impact on the education system. The ministry official clarified that the fund would be utilised to develop content for e-learning and remote education for students during the current period and beyond.

Youtube Discussions

Studying Health Fields in the U.S.: Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing Programmes

6th October 2020 | EducationUSA India

In this session, listen to the experts discussing the admissions to the US Medical Schools. The experts have suggested steps that need to be taken to get admission, and also other necessary information to study in the US. This session helps students and parents with clarity on both US Education, as well as on students’ careers. Watch Video

Exam Updates


Delhi University sticks to online exams

12th October 2020 | The Telegraph

Delhi University plans to continue online classes for the current semester and hold exams in the virtual mode in December-January despite many students failing to complete the earlier exam due to lack of access to Internet and devices. The second and third-semester undergraduate and postgraduate students are to continue online classes for the rest of this year given the pandemic and also appear online for internal assessments and term exams. The first semester is yet to begin as the admissions process has been delayed because of the pandemic. The first semester is expected to begin in November.

Mumbai University set to replace tech partner after chaos during IDOL exam

11th October 2020 | The Times of India

The Mumbai University has decided to replace its technology partner, roped in to conduct exams of Institute of Open and Distance Learning (IDOL). Instead, two technology partners, at least one of which has proved successful in conducting college-level exams, are being considered. The decision to sign agreements with two agencies comes as university authorities feel the companies can work separately with the two largest cohorts of students: Commerce and Arts candidates. Smaller batches of students, those from streams such as the sciences, will take exams on Google Forms.

Anna University & Madras University to release the final semester exam results

11th October 2020 | Times Now

Anna University and Madras University have decided to release the final semester exam results. The result would be available on the official site of the respective universities. Many autonomous colleges are also planning to declare the final year exam results before October 14. The final semester exams were conducted by Anna University from September 22 to 29. The examination was conducted online this year. Out of the total number of candidates who have registered for the examination, 93 percent of students completed the test. As per the report, 17000 students were absent and 10000 students faced technical glitches during the exam.

NEET result 2020 likely to be declared on October 12

11th October 2020 | Zee News

The National Testing Agency (NTA) is likely to announce the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) Result 2020 and the final answer on October 12 in an online mode. According to reports, NTA officials earlier confirmed that the NEET 2020 Result will be declared by October 12. However, NTA has yet not released any notification regarding the release date of the NEET-UG results. Once released, candidates can check the NTA NEET exam results 2020 on the official website of the administering body ntaneet.ac.in or at mcc.nic.in.

Cyber-attack: IDOL exams put off till October 19 to give Mumbai University time to prepare

8th October 2020 | The Times of India

The final examinations of about of the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) of the University of Mumbai have been pushed back to October 19 because of technological disruptions. A day after the university claimed that IDOL exams were disrupted because of a “cyber-attack” on the exam server, it failed to file a complaint. Authorities said the decision to postpone the exams was taken after it was felt that the university now needed a proper plan to conduct the final year IDOL exam.  The university authorities are confident that despite pushing back the exams, they would be able to immediately process all the marks cards and declare the results by October 31.

Can declare Open book exam (OBE) results only by October 20, Delhi University tells high court

7th October 2020 | Hindustan Times

The Delhi University (DU) informed the Delhi high court that it would not be able to declare the results of final-year undergraduate students by October 12, as sought by the court on September 23, as a few of its officials on the South Campus have tested positive for COVID-19, following which the varsity had to shut its examination branch till October 1. The varsity said that it will be able to declare the results only by October 20 for BSc (Hons) students (17 courses). The results of vocational courses can be expected tentatively by October 29, while those of BA (Programme) courses may be delayed due to the large volume and combination of papers involved.

DUET Answer Key 2020: DUET PG Answer Key Released by NTA for 61 Courses

7th October 2020 | Republic World

The National Testing Agency, NTA has released the DUET answer key 2020. The question paper and answer key for the Delhi University Entrance Test, DUET 2020 for PG courses was released on the official website of the National Testing Agency at nta.ac.in. Candidates who had appeared in the DUET 2020 can now go to the official website and check the answer key online.


Bangladesh cancels HSC, equivalent examinations amid COVID-19 fears

7th October 2020 | Xinhua Net

The Bangladesh government has decided to cancel one of the country’s major public examinations this year amid COVID-19 fears. Bangladesh Education Minister announced that 1.4 million candidates of this year’s Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and its equivalent examinations will be evaluated based on their results in two of their previous public examinations—Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Secondary School Certificate (SSC). Bangladesh extended the time of educational institutions closure amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Bangladesh’s Ministry of Education said in a statement that the government extended the closure of all educational institutions till October 31.


Nepal universities, colleges allowed to conduct exams

8th October 2020 | The Times of India

The Nepal Government has allowed universities and colleges across the country to conduct exams by ensuring social distancing and other safety measures enforced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Registrar of the Tribhuvan University told The Himalayan Times that it has already conducted the engineering and M.Phil. exams and was preparing to hold other stalled examinations from mid-November and also, the University would make an exception for those who cannot appear due to COVID-19.

Sri Lanka

GCE Advanced Level Examination commences amid strict health security measures

12th October 2020 | Colombo Page

The 2020 GCE Advanced Level Examination is scheduled to begin on October 12 following the health guidelines implemented by the Ministry of Health to control the spread of COVID-19. The GCE A/L Examination will be held from this morning at 2648 examination centres and 362,824 students are eligible to sit for the examination that is scheduled to conclude on November 6. The exam is due to get underway at 8.30 am for the morning session, and at 1 pm for the afternoon session.

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