The decision was made at a virtual meeting between the UGC and the vice-chancellors of the public universities on Thursday.
The government in March announced that the universities would be allowed to reopen on May 24. The universities were told at the time that they would continue online classes until then, but cannot hold exams.
A second and devastating wave of coronavirus infections, however, put on hold the plan to resume in-person classes and exams.
“We fear that the situation may continue for two to three years. The students will need to get jobs. They will break down mentally. So, we must hold the exams now,” said Sazzad Hossain, a member of the UGC.
Practical exams will need to be held in-person, he said, adding the rules will be reviewed as the situation demands.
“We’ve given guidelines so that there can be maximum assessment.”
The UGC is also emphasising viva to evaluate the students.
A university can also hold in-person examinations adhering to the health rules to avoid session logjam if it deems necessary, according to Sazzad.