Affiliated colleges in districts other than Mumbai can reopen, says MU
Two days after the University of Mumbai (MU) released a circular directing affiliated colleges in the city to postpone reopening until February 22, officials released another circular late on Sunday, stating all affiliated colleges — barring those in Mumbai city and suburbs — can reopen starting February 16. This decision came after MU received confirmation letters from collectors of Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Thane rural and other districts with MU-affiliated colleges.
“For colleges in Mumbai city and suburbs, we’ll wait for official word from the local civic authorities before taking a call on reopening of institutes. However, we received official intimation from collectors of respective districts and have therefore given colleges in those districts confirmation to reopen,” said an MIU spokesperson. MU has around 800 affiliated colleges across Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Palghar, Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri.
However, colleges in corporation areas like Mira Bhayander, Ulhasnagar and Navi Mumbai will not open until further directions from MU.
Earlier this month, state education minister for higher and technical education Uday Samant had announced that colleges may reopen and not more than 50% of students would be in attendance on campus at any given point of time. MU affirmed this move with a circular that required colleges to approach the local civic authority or collector’s office before restarting classes on campus in a phased manner. The circular also shared Covid-19 safety guidelines as prescribed by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
However, on February 12, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials asked that the reopening of colleges be postponed until February 22, to ascertain if the resumption of local train services for the general public leads to a spike in recorded Covid-19 cases in Mumbai. MU has now asked all affiliated colleges in Mumbai city and suburbs to delay reopening of colleges until further notice.
City colleges say that the lack of clarity has plunged them in chaos, especially since many were prepared to reopen on Monday. “We are spending a lot of money to carry out sanitisation of the entire campus. Now that the reopening date has been postponed, we’ll have to redo this process next weekend and then continue the same at regular intervals,” said the principal of a suburban college.