Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Amid rising anticipation among students regarding reopening of Universities and Colleges in a phased manner across the country post COVID-19 induced lockdown, sources said several higher educational institutions are gearing up to resume physical mode of teaching from December end.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) will reopen for PhD scholars from Monday in its fourth phase of reopening the campus after being closed for over seven months in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) had earlier released a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for universities and colleges to keep the coronavirus at bay. The SOP were issued by UGC last month.

The UGC had suggested a slew of measures to be followed for the reopening of the higher educational institutions which included some generic preventive measures.

Such generic preventive measures include maintaining of physical distancing of at least 6 feet, mandatory use of face covers/masks and self monitoring of health by students as well as faculty members.

SOP That Needs To Be Followed Before Reopening Of Campuses:

-The Central or State governments must have declared the area safe for reopening of educational institutions.

-Only universities and colleges outside the containment zones to be allowed to open.

-Students & staff living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend the colleges.

Modalities For Physical Opening Of Colleges and Higher Education Institutions

Colleges and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) outside the containment zones may be opened in a graded manner after consultations with concerned State/UTs and subject to adherence to SOP prepared by the UGC.

-For Centrally funded HEIs, the head of the institution should satisfy herself/himself regarding the feasibility of opening of physical classes and decide accordingly.

-For all other HEIs like State Universities, Private Universities, opening of physical classes to be done as per teh decision of the respective States/UTs.

Specific Measures To Be Taken:

- For other programmes -online and distance learning shall continue to be the proffered mode of teaching

-Students may visit their departments in small number after seeking prior appointments for faculty consultations.

-Institutions may provide online study materials and access to e-resources to students.

-Online teaching-learning arrangements should be made for international students who could not join the programme due to travel or visa-related issues.