Vice-Chancellors (VCs) of public universities across the state, on Friday, unanimously demanded permission from the Governor of Maharashtra to start classroom teaching in colleges and universities immediately. In a video conference meeting, they said that if given permission, they are willing to start colleges as early as from February 1, 2021.
The governor has asked the Department of Higher and Technical Education to grant permission to universities to fill up all vacant statutory positions in universities, such as registrar, deans of faculty and director as early as possible. The governor said, "Absence of officials on these crucial statutory positions is affecting the administrative functioning of universities." Currently, around 50 per cent teaching posts in colleges are lying vacant.
In addition, the governor stated that decisions on opening hostels for students should be taken early. He added, "It is ironic that while classes from Standard 5 are being reopened, universities and colleges are not starting classroom teaching. They have already started their academic year and online classes. At a time when the pandemic is under control, universities should explore the possibility of opening classes in shifts. The University Grants Commission (UGC) too has laid out the procedure for opening of colleges."
The meeting, which was attended by VCs of 20 universities, was convened by the governor to discuss the new academic calendar of the universities for 2020-21, status of statutory audit of universities, vacancies and status of recruitment process of statutory posts in universities.