The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Thursday issued guidelines instructing higher education institutions, outside containment zones, to reopen in phases. Research, masters, and final-year undergraduate courses will be opened first.
As per the UGC guidelines, the number of students attending classes on campus, at a given time, should not be more than half the total student strength. Sharing of hostel room is also restricted due to the pandemic outbreak.
According to the central government’s direction, all universities and schools across India are closed since March 16, 2020 to break the chain of coronavirus. State government and central government for few weeks conducting the meetings to generate the common guidelines regarding reopening of academic sessions. Last month, the ministry of home affairs allowed the state government to decide on phased reopening after October 15, 2020.
States are allowed to reopen their state colleges and schools by considering the current situation of the pandemic. In order to open schools and colleges, the Punjab Government has announced the reopening of universities and colleges after Diwali.
As per the UGC guidelines, “all the academic authority has to follow the rules and regulation strictly. Following a six-day schedule, reducing the strength of the students at a given time, should follow the screening of students, teachers, and staff members and setting up the isolated ward for asymptomatic students.”
For central universities and any other higher education universities which are funded by center government, the decision for reopening of campuses has been left to the vice-chancellors and heads of respective universities.
However, state universities and colleges of respective states, will have to take a call the guidelines added.
The UGC further said, proper availability of sanitizer, health assessment, and arrangement of safety, health food, and water should be ensured for those in quarantine and isolation facilities.
Seating arrangements will be made keeping in view the requirement of physical distancing and the commission has recommended that the teaching hours in a day may be extended as per the requirement of the particular colleges and universities.
The universities and colleges shall only be allowed to reopen if they are not in the containment zones. Similarly, students and staff belong to containment zone will be not allowed to attend the colleges.
“All the member of school authority is advised to keep themselves away from the zones which come under the containment area and request all the students and staffs to download the “Aarogya Setu App” for the safety of all.”
Commission also issued the guideline for the International students, said that international students are not allowed to join on campus classes due to the international travel restrictions or visa-related issues but the commission has made plans for them so that their study could not effect.
Wearing a mask is mandatory for all the students, teachers, and staffs on campus and attendance for the students will be voluntary.
“Hostels will be opened in special cases only after consent of health. Proper settlement has to be made available but the sharing options have been restricted due to the safety norms. Any students who have symptoms should not be permitted to stay in the hostel in any circumstances. For this, students are advised to keep themselves healthy,” the guidelines said.
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