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Srinagar: In order to ensure no academic loss to the research scholars in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic  and lockdown Vice Chancellor University of Kashmir Prof Talat Ahmad has ordered temporary relaxation in certain statutes governing research degree programmes in the University.

According to a University statement issued here on Wednesday, based on the recommendations of the Dean’s Committee the Vice Chancellor has ordered several temporary relaxations which include online interaction of eligible students who have qualified the entrance test held on February 22, 2020 for admission to Ph.D/Integrated M.Phil and Ph.D programmes (2019). 

“Accordingly, the heads  of the departments /Directors/Coordinators shall hold the interaction of eligible students through a convenient online platform, ensure participation of the faculty members in the online interaction  and maintain record of the same,” the statement read. 

The list of students recommended for admission to Integrated Ph.D or Ph.D programmes, it added,  shall be forwarded by the HOD/Director/Coordinator to the Dean of the concerned School who, after due verification, shall forward the same to the Dean Research for approval of the Vice Chancellor as provided under the statutes. 

It has been also ordered that Deans of various schools shall expeditiously communicate the number of vacancies available for admission to Ph.D/Integrated M.Phil and Ph. D programme in various departments/centres/campuses for early issuance of advertisement notice.

In order to ensure teaching of three courses of Integrated M.Phil and Ph. D programme using online platform the Heads/Directors of Departments/Centre shall notify the time table for online class work in respect of scholars registered for Integrated Ph.D students wherever required and Deans of the Schools shall seek fortnightly report from the concerned HODs/Directors/Coordinators in this regard and ensure that the course work is completed employing online platform. 

In line with the guidelines of UGC, it has been decided that the university will facilitate the visit of teachers and scholars to departments/centres in case of an emergency or if an experiment is underway or an instrument needs to be monitored, on a rotation basis without violating the norms of “social distancing” subject to compliance with the guidelines issued by the Government from time to time. 

For scholars who are already registered for various research programs the Vice Chancellor has ordered extension of six months in the registration of Ph.D and Integrated Ph.D students, whose maximum period for submission of Dissertation/ Thesis prescribed under the relevant statues is expiring/has expired during the Corona pandemic period including completion of pending formalities, within six months from the date of expiry of regular prescribed period. The extension of six months is also for those students who are yet to submit their Dissertation/ Thesis. 

The Vice Chancellor has also allowed for online pre-submission seminar to be scheduled by the Head/Director/Coordinator with advance notice to the concerned scholar, supervisor/s, teachers and scholars in the department/centre and due record of the same to be maintained by the concerned Head/Director/Coordinator.

Online submission of panel of experts using official emails by the concerned Supervisor/HODs, Directors, Coordinators to the Vice Chancellor through the respective Deans’ of Schools and submission of thesis/dissertation in PDF format for evaluation by the approved examiners after seeking consent of the examiner/s in this regard. 

Some other  relaxations as ordered by the Vice Chancellor on the recommendations of the committee include Issuance of Academic Clearance after the submission of thesis in view of the prevailing circumstances but before the declaration of result, online processing of applications for grant of extension in registration for Ph.D/Integrated M.Phil and Ph.D programmes, online conduct of open viva-voce by the Board of Examiners as provided in the Statutes to be certified by the concerned Dean of the School and  Online processing of proposals related to upgradation of JRF to SRF etc and conduct of progress review meetings in this regard through available online platforms to be certified by the concerned HOD/Director/Coordinator.

However it is pertinent to mention here that the above provisions shall be in force as a special dispensation only during the period of lockdown owing to COVID-19 and shall be reviewed periodically for their continuation or withdrawal.

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