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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued several guidelines for the reopening of colleges and universities across the country, in line with the process of slowly opening the lockdown enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidelines have been made after being assessed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and they are also approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Education.
Students can check the detailed guidelines of the UGC regarding the reopening of colleges and universities here. Some of the major points have been listed below.
- According to the new guidelines, colleges/ universities that are outside the containment zone can be opened in a sequential manner but only after consultation with the respective Union Territory/ State Governments.
- A process of six-day weeks and smaller class-sizes has been suggested to enable social distancing.
- As per the requirement of the institution, the total teaching hours in a day may be extended.
- Classes are to be conducted in phases and the seating arrangement has to be made ensuring physical distancing is followed.
- Universities/ colleges can also consider reducing the total class size and breaking them in multiple sections to maintain social distancing during the classes.
- Before reopening any campus, the Central or the State Government will have to declare the area safe for the reopening of educational institutions.
- All institutions must follow and abide by the instructions, directions, orders, and guidelines issued by the Government regarding the safety and health in view of COVID-19.
- Additionally, all institutes and colleges must be ready and well-equipped to handle the inflow of faculty, students, and staff on the campus. Basic procedures like regular disinfecting of the campus, screening everyone who enters the premises, containment measures to prevent the spread of the virus in the campus, etc. must be followed.
- The UGC has given permission to the students of all research programmes and PG students in the programmes of science and technology to join the institution since the number of students studying at the PG level is relatively less.
- All colleges and universities will have to provide online study material and give access to e-resources to all the students who prefer to study in the online mode while staying at home.
- The institutions are also solicited to make arrangements of online teaching-learning for international students who are unable to join the programme due to restrictions on international travel or visa-related issues.
- The universities/ colleges will be allowed to open the hostels only if accommodating the students at the campus is necessary. This will be permitted after observing all the safety and health preventive measures taken and sharing of rooms will not be allowed in most cases.
Check the entire notice released by the UGC regarding reopening colleges and universities here.
Ramesh Pkhriyal 'Nishank', the Education Minister, took to Twitter and declared the release of the new guidelines of the UGC. He requested all the educational institutions, parents, students, and everyone associated with the education sector to ensure the compliance of the guidelines for the survival and safety of everyone.