Odisha Govt Allows Universities To Function Amid COVID-19 Lockdown

Bhubaneswar: Acting on the directive of the Odisha government, the Higher Education Department on Monday allowed resumption of all public and private universities in the state during the second phase COVID-19 lockdown period.

In a letter to all university vice-chancellors, commissioner-cum-secretary Saswat Mishra directed them to abide by the following instructions with immediate effect:

— Classes (Theory or Practical) shall not be held in physical mode. However, on-line teaching/e-Learning/Distance learning is permitted.

— Examinations (theory or practical) shall not be conducted. However, the Universities must remain in full preparedness to conduct examinations, whenever permitted by the government with short notice.

— No student and research scholar shall be allowed to stay in the hostel. No student or public shall be allowed to enter the University office and departments without valid permission of the authority concerned. Urgent necessities of students and public, if any (like issue of certificates, etc.), must be tried to be met by electronic means.

— Conferences, seminars, workshops, field work, visits, trips etc shall not be held. However, conferences, seminars may be conducted in online mode, if required.

­— Evaluation of answer sheets pertaining to examinations already conducted is permitted. However, the zonal valuation is not permitted. PhD Viva-voce examination and PhD pre-submission presentation in on-line mode is also permitted.

— Though all Group-A (teaching and non-teaching) employees, which includes all faculties, have to attend to their official duty on a daily basis, only one-third of Group B, Group C and Group D employees shall be required to attend to their official duty, as will be decided by the competent authority of the Universities, with or without rotation basis. A copy of the University Office Order to this effect should be sent to local police and civil administration with a request to allow the movement of the permitted employees to and from the University. Employees must carry a copy of this order of the Higher Education Department, a copy of the University office order and own identity card while commuting to the University.

— lf an employee,  who is required to attend to duty, fails to do so due to any reason, he/she has to apply for admissible leave to her/his leave sanctioning authority.

— During functioning of the Universities, all COVID-19 prevention measures such as social distancing, hand washing/sanitization, compulsory use of mask, routine disinfection and suspension of bio-metric attendance system must be followed scrupulously.

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