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UGC releases guidelines for reopening of colleges and universities

The UGC directed the institutions to reopen their campuses in a phased manner, ensuring safety, health and well-being of all the students

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Guwahati: In a need to follow certain preventive measures even after the spread of coronavirus is contained, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued guidelines to reopen universities and colleges after nearly a seven-month lockdown.

According to UGC, reopening of universities and colleges will relieve the students from uncertainties regarding their career, mode of functioning of universities and colleges.

The UGC directed the institutions to reopen their campuses in a phased manner, ensuring safety, health and well-being of all students and staff.

As per the guidelines, education institutions, outside containtment zones, will reopen in phases, starting first with research, masters and final-year undergraduate students.

The number of students attending classes on campus, at a given time, should not be more than 50%.

The UGC has also suggested institutions to extend teaching hours and follow a six-day schedule to accommodate students in batched and ensure social distancing.

Wearing of mask is mandatory for all students, teachers and staff on campus. Attendance for students will be voluntary. Universities have also been asked to continue online classes for students who wish to study remotely.

UGC has also allowed operating hostels for the residential campuses “where it is necessary”, but sharing of rooms has been forbidden.

The guidelines further stated that isolation for symptomatic persons and quarantine facilities for those who were in contact with the positively tested persons should be there on campus or a tie-up may be made in advance with some government hospital or approved premises or as advised by the local authorities so that in case of necessity, prompt action may be taken. Proper arrangement of safety, health, food, water etc. should be ensured for those in quarantine and isolation facilities.

“The guidelines restricting social and physical contacts and mobility in such parts of residential places in the campus, where positive cases have been found, strictly enforced. Measures like holding no class not leaving the rooms for hostellers, id applicable no take away arrangement of food from mess etc. may be enforced, depending upon the severity of the situation,” the guidelines stated.