Even as a debate raged nationally over the issue of holding NEET and JEE examinations amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Karnataka government announced to reopen regular classes in degree colleges from October 1.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan said on Wednesday the department of Higher Education would, however, await guidelines from the central government on reopening of the colleges which have remained shut since March in view of COVID-19 lockdown, indicating a final call would be taken later.
Narayan, who holds the Higher Education portfolio, said online classes would commence from September 1. “The government has decided to get the ball rolling on all academic activities online from next month. In addition, all colleges will start in October and students are expected to attend classes in person," he told reporters here.
According to Narayan, the state government has already made comprehensive preparations for starting offline classes following the guidelines issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The state government will additionally follow the directions from the central government as they come, he added.
Along with the commencement of the academic year, final year examinations will be scheduled for all the undergraduate,diploma and engineering students, the minister said adding arrear exams will also be conducted. The state government had also conducted the SSLC board examination and the pre-university examinations. However, there was no indication as yet on when the schools and pre-university colleges would reopen.
Regarding the holding of NEET, Narayan said he saw no reason for putting it off and claimed some “vested interests"were trying to disrupt the medical entrance exam since its inception.
Karnataka’s COVID-19 tally is inching toward the three lakh mark and the state recorded a sharp spike of 8,161 new cases on Tuesday. The total cases stood at 2,91,826 and the death toll 4,958.