State mum on reopening of colleges and  varsities

Despite repeated appeals, there has been no direction on offline reopening of degree colleges and universities from the state higher and technical education department. Degree colleges affiliated to the University of Mumbai (MU) were planning to reopen offline lectures from Monday but the state government has not issued any guidelines.

Uday Samant, state higher and technical education minister, had earlier said that the Maharashtra government will take a decision regarding reopening of colleges on January 20, 2021. However, it has been almost a week but no final call has been taken yet.

Degree colleges said they cannot go ahead with their plan of reopening offline lectures in a phased manner due to lack of direction from the state government. Zenab Ansari, a professor said, "We were planning to resume offline lectures from Monday at least for first, second and third-year Bachelor of Science (BSc) practical courses. But despite repeated appeals and requests for information, the state higher education department has not provided any direction."

The government-aided professors and non-teaching staff of degree colleges and universities have questioned whether they will be provided the Covid-19 vaccination for free from the Maharashtra state government. Prajwal Vasudev, a professor said, "If the state wants teachers and staff to return to colleges then they should initiate safety measures and facilitate free inoculation."

The decision regarding reopening of offline lectures in degree colleges and universities is pending as the state government is mulling over various aspects considering the Covid-19 risks.

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