Colleges and universities across the country have begun to reopen after having closed since March 2020 due to the pandemic. However, the reopened universities will be different from the previous ones. To keep COVID safe, the College Scholarship Commission (UGC) has issued special guidelines for colleges. Under these guidelines, universities or colleges have no more than 50 percent students at any one time, day classes can be extended, and field trips and activities outside of school are reduced.
UGC asked universities to hire a consultant to visit regularly to ensure mental well-being and stress-free campuses. Universities and colleges have also been urged to limit the presence of external experts on campus, study trips, field work, etc. Teachers, officials, staff, and students should be required to carry identity cards. Faculty, staff and students of universities and colleges should be encouraged to download the “Aarogya Setu application”.
“The new university session is taking place and universities and colleges need a localized plan to deal with any eventualities arising from COVID-19 before they can resume their activities on campus. Furthermore, the reopening of universities and colleges will free students from uncertainties about their careers, how universities and colleges work, including how to teach physical classes. It also frees teachers and other employees from uncertainties about the continuity of their services, their salary, etc. UGC said in an official letter to the directors of universities and institutions of higher education.
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Only universities and colleges outside of the security zones can reopen. Also, students and staff who live in these areas cannot attend colleges. Students and staff are also advised not to visit areas classified as safe zones according to the guidelines.
At no time should more than 50 percent of all students be present among reopened colleges. Students from all research programs and PhD students from science and engineering programs are preferred. Online courses will continue for the rest of the streams and for international students.