The Vice-Chancellor, University of Kashmir, Prof Talat Ahmad, Chaired a high-level meeting at the University of Kashmir. The meeting, following all social distancing norms and safety guidelines, was attended by the Dean Academic Affairs, Dean Research, Dean College Development, Deans of various Schools, Registrar, Controller of Exams, Media Advisor, Director ITS&S, Special Secretary to the VC and Directors of North & South Campuses. The meeting was held in the backdrop of recent UGC guidelines and various orders/guidelines issued by the central and local administration.
The Vice-Chancellor, in his opening remarks, stressed that given the circumstances, created by the COVID-19, we shall try to make the best use of online and virtual teaching and learning on regular and in an organized manner. “We got the opportunity to create the given adverse circumstances to our advantage and strengthen virtual teaching/learning and the assessment at the University”. The internal assessment of the students shall be done using online modes and the university must develop a robust mechanism to conduct online exams.
The Vice-Chancellor informed that he has approved the recommendations of the Deans committee for the conduct of research-related activities online. These include online, submission of the thesis, a panel of experts, receipt of evaluation reports and conduct of final Viva -Voce.
Prof Talat advised that the faculty members should devise their own mechanism to conduct an online internal assessment of students. These may include online assignments, quiz programs, MCQ tests and short-term review-based research projects. The students be encouraged to do review based desertions, avoiding the use of laboratories and travel during the lockdown period.
The meeting was informed that during the lockdown period, as per University ITS&S records, 33724 teaching sessions have been conducted by the University teachers, besides thousands of sessions on ZOOM and other platforms, for which data and details are being collected from the Heads of the departments. “The faculty is advised to make use of their official email IDs for the conduct of Google hangout meet classes to ensure the safety of data and record”, said the Vice-Chancellor.
Prof Talat advised the School of Education and Directorate of Distance education to explore the possibility of conducting Online “Teaching Practice” sessions for B.Ed. students in collaboration with the school education department.
The meeting was informed that teaching of 2nd Semester Batch 2018 has been completed & 3rd Semester is going on, which will be completed by the mid of June 2020 and the exams etc. completed by the end of June 2020, to start the 4th semester by July 2020. Likewise, for the Batch September 2019, the teaching of 1st Semester has been Completed & 2nd Semester is going on, which will also be completed by the end of June 2020. Since the university follows a carry on the system, the students will be automatically admitted in the next semester immediately after their exam is over and the classes started. This will save the time lost due to various reasons.
After a thorough review of the ongoing work and threadbare discussions on various issues confronting the University during this tough time, the following decisions were taken:
- The Deans of respective Schools will collect details of online classes delivered by the faculty members from respective Heads of Departments on a weekly basis and will communicate the same to Dean Academic affairs.
- The Deans of concerned Schools will convene a meeting of respective HoD’s and will brief them about the decisions taken/ policy to be adopted with regard to the conduct of examination/completion of syllabus/conduct of online classes etc. Subsequently, the concerned HoD’s will convene the meeting of respective faculty members.
- A Committee, under the chairmanship of Dean Academic Affairs, is constituted to frame a policy document clearly depicting the modalities for the conduct of online examinations/online classes, completion of the teaching of ongoing semesters, carry forward to next semester, the conduct of viva-voce etc. After approval of the competent authority, the policy document will be circulated among students/faculty members etc.
- For Online Examination a subcommittee is constituted under the Chairmanship of Controller Exams. The Committee will submit the recommendations about the pattern and modalities of online examinations and other requirements associated with the conduct of online examinations.
- The Directorate of ITS&S in collaboration with Director, HRDC will conduct online workshops/orientation sessions for teachers on the use of different IT tools for the conduct of classes/examinations etc. The ITS&S will also keep training videos/tutorials on the University website for self-learning.
- The University will provide pen-drives with preloaded study material to students from far-off places who have no internet facility. The concerned Deans will provide a list of such students to the Dean Academic Affairs.
- To help research scholars, in the given circumstances, it was resolved that all the supervisors are impressed upon to stay in touch with their research scholars through available online platforms and ensure that their theses/dissertations, manuscripts etc. are checked expeditiously. The university will also help the moment of students, wherever essential, for the functioning of labs following required norms.
- The research scholars will attend the classes, wherever required, through online mode. The scholars who have completed their research work, they will submit the thesis to their respective Supervisors/HoD’s. The concerned Supervisors/HoD’s will seek the approval of experts for evaluation of thesis through e-mail after following due procedure. The thesis will be forwarded to respective examiners through e-mail. The viva voce of research scholars will be conduct online after completing due formalities.
- ‘Research Admission Portal’, created by the ITS&S, shall be launched to monitor and facilitate the progress of the research scholars from their registration to the award of final degree.
- Based on UGC recommendations 6 months extension has been granted to all the Scholars who’s registrations expired during the lockdown period or who could not submit their thesis.