Maharashtra govt may reopen colleges soon; Samant meets Koshyari after criticism
The state government is likely to restart offline lectures in colleges and universities soon, said Uday Samant, higher and technical education minister on Sunday, after meeting the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
Samant has also called a meeting of vice-chancellors of the universities on Monday to discuss the issue in detail.
On Friday, Koshyari, who is also the chancellor of all the universities in the state, had called a meeting of all the vice-chancellors to review annual audit, filling up vacant posts and preparations of the universities for starting physical classes. The vice-chancellors, in the meeting, demanded restarting of physical classes of colleges and universities without any delay. The Governor also voiced the same opinion and said that allowing physical classes for schools and not allowing offline classes college and universities is contradictory.
“I came to know through newspapers about reopening of Class 5 to 8 in schools across the state, hence not allowing physical classes at colleges and universities looks contradictory. Universities have already started their academic year and their online lectures are also going on. Since the Covid-19 pandemic has come under control, the universities should consider resuming physical classes at colleges. They can conduct classes in shifts,” the Governor had said in the meeting on Friday.
He also said the universities should take initiative about resuming classes given the guidelines issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for restarting colleges.
The government has allowed physical classes for students between Class 5 and Class 12 in phases, except in Mumbai.
Samant, following a meeting with the Governor, said, “I have convened a meeting with all vice-chancellors on Monday. It is in the backdrop of the demand they made [to restart colleges] with the Governor. The chief minister will be given the report of the meeting tomorrow [Monday] itself. One thing is certain that it is now time to reopen colleges and we are taking the steps in this regard.”
Once the decision to reopen colleges is formally announced, the department will issue a standard operating procedure (SOP) for students and the teaching, non-teaching staff at the institutions, state officials said. The official said that local district or municipal authorities can decide whether to reopen offline lectures in colleges in their jurisdiction, based on the Covid-19 situation in respective cities and districts.