Maharashtra Colleges Reopening News: Degree colleges can reopen on October 20 with over 50% students | Mumbai News

MUMBAI: A year-and-a-half into the pandemic, degree college campuses in the state will finally reopen for physical classes on October 20. Higher and technical education minister Uday Samant announced on Wednesday that fully vaccinated students can attend classes. For students below 18 years of age, vaccination is not mandatory, said the government’s resolution issued on Wednesday evening.

While colleges in the state can reopen with 50% capacity or more, the decision to start classes in Mumbai will be taken by the university in consultation with the BMC. As the main mode of transport in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region is the local train, the state will write to the chief secretary, seeking permission for under-18 students to travel. Although permission has been given for offline classes from Std 8 to 12, few colleges in the city have managed to start their junior colleges due to commuting constraints. Samant said, “Colleges and universities can call 50% students or more after consulting with the local administration.”
Univs, colleges must conduct vax camps for students: Min
Higher and technical education minister Uday Samant on Tuesday said in regions with less or declining Covid cases, university administrations can call more than 50% students from October 20. Regions where the total number of Covid cases are on the higher side and are likely to increase, the decision to start physical classes can be taken by local corporations, he added.
“For students above 18 years who have not received both the doses, universities and colleges must take the initiative to hold vaccination camps with help from local district officials,” he said.
University administrations can also arrange special drives in cities for unvaccinated students, like the one conducted for women. Vaccinating teaching and non-teaching staff should be done on a priority basis, he said.
“Based on the Covid situation and third wave fears, different districts and universities can come out with different standard operating procedures (SOPs). It need not be uniform. For students who will not be able to attend classes, colleges should continue with compulsory online classes,” said Samant.
The resolution mentioned the state is also allowing hostels to reopen in phases and that the director of higher and technical education should take necessary action after reviewing the condition of hostels. The government has been relaxing lockdown norms as cases have been steady in most regions. Schools and junior colleges were allowed to start physical classes from October 4. In Mumbai, though, very few junior colleges have managed to reopen. Principals said parents have not been giving consent as children were not eligible for vaccines and many are also facing commuting problems.
Most colleges may consider reopening after Diwali, starting first with practicals as they did with junior colleges. The GR is also silent on attendance of teachers.

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