UGC Issues Guidelines For Reopening Colleges, Universities
New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a set of guidelines for universities and colleges to reopen.
The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Education have approved the norms which were vetted by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The educational institutions have been advised to follow those as per the local conditions and directives of the government.
The UGC has released the following SOP for the universities and the colleges outside the containment zones to reopen:
- For Centrally funded institutions, the head of the institution should satisfy himself regarding the feasibility of the opening of physical classes and decide accordingly
- For all other higher education institutions, e.g., state universities, private universities, colleges etc., opening of physical classes to be done as per the decision of the respective State/UT governments
- Universities and colleges may plan opening the campuses in phases, with such activities where they can easily adhere to social distancing, use of face masks and other protective measures This may include administrative offices, research laboratories and libraries etc
- Students of all research programmes and post-graduate students in science & technology programmes may join as the number of such students is comparatively less and norms of physical distancing and preventive measures can be easily enforced
- Final year students may also be allowed to join for academic and placement purposes
- It should be ensured that not more than 50% of the total students should be present at any point of time
- For the programmes, other than those mentioned above, online/distance learning shall continue
- If required, students may visit their respective departments in small number for consultation with the faculty members, after seeking prior appointments to avoid crowding
- Students may opt not to attend classes and prefer to study online while staying at home. Institutions may provide online study material and access to e-resources to such students for teaching-learning
- Hostels may be opened only in such cases where it is necessary while strictly observing the safety and health preventive measures. But, sharing of rooms may not be allowed in hostels. Symptomatic students should not be permitted to stay in the hostels under any circumstances.
Before the reopening of any campus, the Central or the state government must have declared the area safe for opening of educational institutions. The directions, instructions, guidelines and orders issued by the Central and concerned state government regarding safety and health in view of COVID-19 must be fully abided by the institutions.