West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Friday said universities will take the decision on ways of conducting semester exams after the end of the lockdown, and the government will not interfere in their autonomy.
Chatterjee told reporters he was informed by vice chancellors of several universities that they are already working out the modalities to conduct the final semester exams in consultation with faculty members.
"The universities will decide on their own about the day of opening of affiliated colleges, about the ways of conducting final semester exams," he said.
The minister said higher education institutions have been asked to display a humane approach with regard to attendance and internal assessment factors in view of the COVID-19 scenario.
"The vice chancellors are meeting today to discuss about the semester issue and academic calendar. They will deliberate among themselves and inform the higher education department about their recommendations later on," he said.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
VCs of different state universities were present at the meeting, West Bengal Vice-Chancellors Council general secretary Subiresh Bhattacharya said.
Chatterjee added that universities suffered damages worth Rs 40 crore due to cyclone 'Amphan'.He said the state government will actively encourage planting of trees in varsities where green cover was reduced in the fierce storm.