The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued guidelines for the reopening of universities and colleges across the nation, in line with the process of gradually opening the lockdown enforced due to COVID-19 pandemic.
As per the new guidelines, universities and colleges outside the containment zone can be opened in a sequential manner after consultation with the respective State/UT Governments. The guidelines have been vetted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Education.
UGC suggests six-day weeks, smaller class-sizes to enable social distancing, however, teaching hours in a day may be extended, as per the institution’s requirements.
“Six-day schedule may be followed so that classes can be conducted in phases and the seating arrangement be made keeping in view the requirements of physical distancing. Universities and colleges may consider reducing the class size and break them in multiple sections to maintain physical distancing during the classes,” read the official statement.
The new guidelines have asked the institutions to ensure that “before reopening of any campus, the Central or the concerned State Government must have declared the area safe for reopening of educational institutions. The directions, instructions, guidelines and orders issued by the Central and State Government concerned regarding safety and health in view of COVID-19 must be fully abided by the higher education institutions.”
Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ took to Twitter and announced the release of the new UGC guidelines. He said, “It is a request to all educational institutions, students, parents and all those associated with the education world to ensure compliance of these guidelines for the survival and bright future of themselves and others.”