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Want to re-open colleges for in-person classes this academic year: Maharashtra Minister

The Maharashtra government is trying to draw up a plan for re-opening colleges for in-person classes, state Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant said in Pune on Wednesday.

Written by Alifiya Khan | Pune |
Updated: August 5, 2021 11:13:12 am
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As life returns to normal at a slow pace in almost all sectors affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, college students may also be able to return to classrooms soon. The state government is trying to draw up a plan for re-opening colleges for in-person classes, state Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant said in Pune on Wednesday.

Samant said he has asked senior officials from his department to conduct a meeting with district collectors, disaster management authorities and vice-chancellors, to prepare a plan for re-opening colleges in physical mode.

“I have received several requests from students and parents in this regard. We are going to try and start physical classes for this academic year. I have asked the two directors of higher education and technical education to hold meetings with district collectors, disaster management authorities and vice-chancellors. Since an university has a large area with several districts under it, and the Covid-19 situation in every district is different, we need to chalk out a plan for reopening of colleges, depending on the situation on the ground. The report will be presented to me in a few days, after which we will take a decision… however, our efforts are to start colleges in physical mode for the current academic year,” he said.

The minister acknowledged that for colleges to restart, it is important to open up hostels for students from rural areas, so that they can return to attend classes in colleges and universities.

If students need to be vaccinated on a large scale, then universities have been advised to prepare plans for the same, said the minister.

Incidentally, when the administration of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) had issued a circular on January 4 this year regarding re-opening of departments and colleges for in-person lectures, the state Higher and Technical Education Department had issued it a show-cause notice regarding the same.

According to the SPPU circular, lectures were to be started at university departments and the nearly 800-odd colleges in Pune, Nashik and Ahmednagar under the university, in a phase-wise manner. However, the state government issued the university a show-cause notice, asking it on what basis was the decision taken, since neither the state government nor the University Grants Commission had sent any instructions about starting physical lectures.

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