Coronavirus outbreak: Students perturbed as colleges ask them to vacate hostels
Panjab University, its 12 colleges to be shut till March 31; Punjab Engineering College students to stay home till April 13
With the administration of Panjab University (PU), affiliated colleges and Punjab Engineering College (PEC) asking students to vacate their hostels, there was a wave of panic among the hostellers on Sunday.
On Saturday, while PU had announced closure of the varsity and its 12 affiliated colleges in Chandigarh till March 31, PEC advised its students to stay home till April 13. Although PU has issued an ‘advisory’ to vacate the hostels, the affiliated city colleges, on the other hand, have given students 24 to 48 hours to evacuate the premises. PEC has set Tuesday noon as the deadline.
“Many students who belong to Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have left for their homes but those who belong to Jammu and Kashmir, north-east states, Afghanistan and other countries are stuck,” said a student leader of Dayanand Anglo Vedic (DAV) College, Sector 10. “One of my friend is struggling to arrange travel mode for her home town in J&K as we have been told to vacate the premises within two days,” he said.
A PU student, Vijisha Sharma, said, “My sister stays in hostel of Sri Guru Gobind Singh College (SGGSC), Sector 26. She has her coaching classes for the master of business administration preparations. Where will she stay in case they ask her to vacate her hostel?” On being asked if the students who choose to stay back need to do any formalities, principal Satinder Kaur said they would take a decision regarding the same on Monday.
In PEC, students who are undergoing trainings and internships have been allowed to stay back. Director Dheeraj Sanghi said, “Many third year students who are doing internships in tricity are being allowed to stay back after verifying that their organisations have yet not permitted work from home facility.”
Spokesperson of Goswami Ganesh Dutta Sanatan Dharma (GGDSD) College, Sector 32, Priya, said, “Since our hostel accommodates international as well as students from north-east states and other far away areas, we are helping them make their travel plans to leave or other alternative arrangements. It may take two-three days, but for international students, we will seek guidance of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, ministry of external affairs.”
Colleges and universities in Mohali and Panchkula have already been closed till March 31 after statewide orders issued by Punjab and Haryana governments on Friday.
Meanwhile, the UT administration had on Friday ordered the closure of schools till this month end, though examinations are to continue as per schedule, and teachers and other staff are to report to duty. In case of PU, internal examinations, including mid-semesters, evaluation and assessment, also stand postponed.
DAV-10 principal Pawan Sharma said the hostellers can stay back, but there has to be a valid reason for staying back in the hostels. “Students from north-east and Afghanistan have already been conveyed that they can stay back if they choose to. But they will have to seek permission in writing. We must have a record of students staying back at their own risk and responsibility,” he said.
PU spokesperson Renuka Salwan said, “Students can stay back if they want. We are following the necessary precautions required. Depending on the number of students who stay back, messes of certain hostels will be kept open.”