NEW DELHI: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued guidelines for the opening of universities and colleges. It has said that universities must ensure that not more than 50 per cent of the total students are present at any time.
As per the UGC guidelines, only a limited number of hostels can be opened, strictly following safety and health regulations. Not only this, no more than one student will be allowed to stay in a hostel room. Students with symptoms of Covid-19 will not be allowed to stay in the hostel under any circumstances.
Giving information on the UGC guidelines, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said, "If students want, they can study online by staying home and not attending classes. The institute will try to make online study material and e-resources accessible for the reading of such students."
Online classes will continue for all other programmes except Science, Technology and Research. Online and distance education will continue to be the preferred method as before and will be further promoted.
The UGC has issued new guidelines to reopen universities and colleges after nearly seven months of lockdown. The UGC had issued guidelines twice earlier, keeping the lockdown in mind. The UGC issued the guidelines for the first time on April 29 and the second time on July 6. Many important topics like online education, conduct of examinations, admission process, academic calendar were included in these guidelines.
The existing guidelines have also been approved by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Home Affairs. These guidelines can be adopted by educational institutions, according to government directives and local circumstances.
The opening of educational institutions is being stepped up. In view of the proliferation of COVID-19, the State and Union Territory governments have also been consulted to open universities and colleges outside the containment zones. Educational institutions can be opened across the country in a systematic manner after consultation with the governments of the state and union territories.
It will be mandatory to follow the UGC guidelines to open educational institutions. For this, the UGC has prepared a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which will be mandatory to follow. The UGC has made all the rules and regulations flexible so that there is no impediment in the conduct of academic work. (IANS)
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