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 January 12, 2020 – January 18, 2021.

Stay Safe.


Nearly 13000 Indian international students depart Australia while hundreds wait to return

15th January 2021 | SBS

Nearly 164,000 of Australia’s 542,106 student visa holders were stuck outside the country on 10 January 2021, as per the latest figures revealed by the Federal Department of Education, Skills and Employment. The latest government data reveals that at least 12,740 student visa holders who left Australia were from India, the second-largest source of international students to Australia. The figures also indicate that New South Wales and Victoria, which together host the largest share of international students, have been worst hit by the exodus. While 60,394 students departed NSW, 56,824 left Victoria, resulting in an overwhelming loss of revenue and costing hundreds of jobs.

MBBS students enrolled in Chinese universities fear losing year

15th January 2021 | Hindustan Times

According to the rules in China, MBBS students have to immediately complete a 52-week physical internship in assigned hospitals after finishing their final-year course to be awarded their MBBS degree. While the first, second and third-year MBBS students are currently attending lectures online, the final-year students are at a loss, as their internship can only be completed once the lockdown restrictions are lifted. The Embassy of India in Beijing recently released a notification, stating that as of now, there stands no update on the situation. “With reports of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in China, authorities have further reinforced epidemic controls and restrictions on travel and entry into China. The suspension of visas of Indian nationals is an instance of enhanced controls. Chinese authorities have also denied permission for the operation of any chartered flights between India and China, citing their strict control measures,” stated the notification. Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy notification also stated that with the Chinese authorities repeatedly saying that the restrictions are unlikely to be relaxed in the coming months, students should continue education through online mode.

Exam Updates

University of Mumbai IDOL winter semester online exams to begin from January 21

17th January 2021 | Free Press Journal

Online examination of the winter session of the University of Mumbai (MU) Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) will be conducted starting from January 21, 2021. Online mock tests for students began from January 17. Over 7,000 students will appear for various undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) winter semester re-exams of MU IDOL. Login IDs and passwords have been sent to students via email and mobile phone contact.

JEE Main 2021: NTA extends the last date for registration till January 23

17th January 2021 | India TV

The National Testing Agency (NTA) has extended the registration date for the JEE Main 2021 till January 23. Candidates who are aspiring to become engineers & architects can apply for the February session of the Joint Entrance Exam Main (JEE Main 2021) on the official website jeemain.nta.nic.in. Initially, the last date to register for JEE Main 2021 was January 17, 2021.

NEET PG 2021 exam to take place on April 18

15th January 2021 | Jagran English

The examination date for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Postgraduate (NEET PG 2021) has been announced and it is slated to take place on April 18 across the country on a computer-based platform. The National Board of Education announced that the examination will take place at various NEET PG exam centers in India. The directive further read that the students who are appearing for the examination need to complete their internship on or before June 30 this year and thus then only they can apply for NEET PG.

Classes 10, 12 Board Exams: Delhi Issues New Rules For Practical exams, Pre-Boards

14th January 2021 | NDTV

The Delhi Government has announced the process of practical examinations, internal assignments and project work for Classes 10 and 12 of the state schools. It has clarified that no COVID-19 symptomatic student will be allowed to enter the school premises or appear for the examination. In line with other Indian states, Delhi has also allowed the state schools to reopen for Classes 10 and 12 from January 18 to help them prepare for the upcoming CBSE board examinations 2021. Though the board exam aspirants will only be allowed to attend the physical classes with prior permission from their parents or guardians. It has further stated that the pre-boards will be tentatively held for Class 10 from April 1 to April 15 and for Class 12 from March 20 to April 15, 2021. The main objective to hold physical sessions for Classes 10 and 12 is to help them prepare for the upcoming CBSE board practical exams to be held at the school level.

CBSE Board Exams 2021: Plea to conduct exams online dismissed by Delhi High Court

13th January 2021 | India Today

The Delhi High Court has dismissed a plea filed by parents, which was seeking the online conduction of the upcoming CBSE board exams 2021 for students of classes 10 and 12 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country.

YouTube Discussions

Future skills and demands – How Australian Higher Education will prepare you

14th January 2021 | IDP Education India

In this session meet representatives from different states of Australia sharing their views on opportunities available in Australia for international students. This session will help students and parents with clarity on admissions for International Education in Australia. Watch Video 


Educational institutions to remain closed until January 30

15th Januray 2021 | New Age BD

The government has decided to further extend the closure of educational institutions of the country until January 30, 2021. Other educational institutions from the primary schools to the universities would continue administrative activities for online admission, online classes or online exams, ministry officials said. The government decided not to hold any annual exam or admission test for pre-primary to Class IX students. Instructions were passed to promote students to the next classes giving assignments and complete the admission process through online-based lottery. The primary education completion, junior school certificate and HSC examinations were cancelled amid the COVID-19 crisis. The government is yet to take any decision on holding the tests at schools through which candidates are selected for the SSC examinations.

Exam Updates

Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC), equivalent exam results to be published by January 28

12th January 2021 | Dhaka Tribune

The results of last year’s Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations are expected to be published by January 28. The government in October last year decided to cancel the HSC and its equivalent examinations due to health safety concerns amid the pandemic. Instead, candidates would be evaluated based on their results in Junior School Certificate (JSC), Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and their equivalent examinations. The results will be published after coordinating 75 percent from the SSC and 25 percent from the JSC results.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka hopeful of getting first stock of COVID-19 jab within weeks

17th January 2021 | The Island

The first consignment of 200,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 is expected to reach Sri Lanka by the end of January or early February, a senior health official said. The stock of the newly developed US vaccine, now being administered in many countries across the globe, will be channelled to Colombo through the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO has agreed to provide around 4.2 million qualified vaccines to Sri Lanka to inoculate about 20 percent of the population.

Exam Updates

Cut-off points for the School level Scholarship Exam released

15th January 2021 | IBC Tamil

School-level cut-off marks for the Year 5 Scholarship Examination have been released. This has been published by the Department of Examinations. The cut-off points can be viewed at www.doenets.lk and results.exams.gov.lk.


Supreme Court issues verdict in favour of new curricula for grade 11

13th January 2021 | The Kathmandu Post

The Supreme Court opened the door for the government to implement the new curricula for grade 11. According to the new curricula, students will have to study six subjects each in grades 11 and 12 instead of the five they have been doing. Three of these are compulsory — English, Nepali, and Social Studies in grade 11 and Life Skills Education in grade 12 — and three other elective subjects. Mathematics is one of the 80 optional subjects the students can choose from. The new curricula, according to the Curriculum Development Centre, has been designed to switch to the single-track curricula for grades 11 and 12 from the system of four disciplines where students after passing grade 10 chose Science, Management, Humanities or Education stream. In order to integrate courses offered from grades 9 to 12, the Ministry of Education had decided to replace the previous curricula with a new one in January last year.

Exam Updates

National Examination Board (NEB) to publish Grade 12 results within this week

17th January 2021 | Khabar Hub

The National Examination Board (NEB) is preparing to unveil results of Grade 12 within this week. NEB said that it was now verifying the answer sheets of the students after completing the data entry work. Chairperson of the NEB, said that though the board had started working towards making the results out by December 31, that could not happen as so as many schools were yet to send the answer sheets of their students.


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