The colleges in Maharashtra will reopen with 50 per cent attendance from February 15, Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant said on Wednesday. The 75 per cent compulsory attendance rule has been waived off this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, informed Samant.
The Minister further said the colleges will have to strictly followed the standard operating procedure (SOPs) with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking about the examinations, Samant said the universities will have to take a decision regarding conducting exams online or offline.
As far as the reopening of hostels is concerned, Samant had earlier said that will be done in phases as there are still some hostels that are converted into quarantine centres.
In a bid to avoid any confrontation with Governor BS Koshyari, who is also the Chancellor of Universities in the state, Samant had initiated dialogue with the vice chancellors. Governor had expressed serious displeasure over the state government’s decision of not holding final-year examinations last year citing COVID-19. He had said that not conducting the final year examinations by the universities amounts to breach of University Grant Commission’s guidelines.
Therefore, Samant proposed to take up the matter at the Disaster Management Authority only after the vice chancellors come on board. He said that he had held a meeting with the vice chancellors on Monday and they were in favour of restarting the colleges and universities.
"Some vice chancellors have suggested that in some places online classes should be started. While in few other places, students can attend classes physically,” Samant had said. He had also noted that the SOPs will be prepared in accordance with the UGC’s guidelines.