February 14, 2021 2:33:05 am
College campuses in Mumbai will not reopen on Monday after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) informed Mumbai University that it will decide on it by February 22. The Maharashtra government had earlier this month announced that colleges in the state could start from February 15.
In a circular dated February 12, Mumbai University informed colleges in the city that the decision to reopen colleges will be conveyed by February 22. “Colleges in Palghar and Raigad are set to re-open. However, Mumbai is being cautious about the reopening of colleges,” said an MU official.
In addition to the campuses in Mumbai, colleges under Thane district which covers Thane (Urban and Rural), Navi Mumbai, Mira-Bhayander, Kalyan and Ulhasnagar corporations, will also not re-open from Monday. Thane district collector Rajesh Narvekar said they are still taking feedback from all six corporations under the district. “We are assessing the Covid-19 situation locally and not re-starting colleges from February 15. In rural parts, we may start (colleges) in a week.”
College campuses in Raigad and Palghar districts under MU will reopen on Monday after a 10-month break. Raigad district collector Nidhi Choudhari said they have permitted colleges to open as per the government order. Colleges in Ratnagiri will not be allowed to start classes from Monday.
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Colleges have been shut since the lockdown last March. After a delegation of vice-chancellors had met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and sought the physical reopening of colleges, state Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant had announced re-opening of physical classes in the state from February 15. Fifty per cent of the total staff and students would be allowed on campus at any given.
As per the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines, the first preference must be given to PhD and research candidates from science and technology departments as well as final-year students to attend lectures on campus. Online lectures will continue for the rest of the batches. “We had started the preparation — sanitisation of college campus, common areas, classes schedule — for reopening of colleges. We had planned to start with practical exams for under-graduates and final year students, while rest were to continue with the offline classes,” said K A Viswanathan, president of College Alumni Students’ Association, SIES.
Teachers and students have said resuming on-campus lectures is not feasible if they are not allowed to travel by train outside fixed time slots.
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