The state higher and technical education department had recently stated that all degree colleges and universities can resume offline lectures from February 15, 2021, with 50 per cent attendance on a rotational basis.
Although several colleges in the state re-opened on February 15, colleges affiliated with Mumbai University (MU) has not opened yet.
The colleges did not re-open because the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) denied permission to MU to reopen offline lectures in affiliated degree colleges and universities because it needs to analyse the spread of the Covid-19 infection as suburban train services have been resumed for the common people from February 1.
Thus the University of Mumbai has deferred reopening of offline lectures till February 22, 2021.
The MU released a notice stating, "Due to the direction given by the BMC, a decision regarding reopening of offline lectures in degree colleges and universities in Mumbai will be taken after February 22, 2021."
MU had written to the BMC seeking permission to reopen offline lectures from February 15. A senior officer of MU said, "The BMC is the local administrative authority which is analysing the ground situation and tracking the number of coronavirus positive cases in the city. We need a final nod from the BMC to reopen offline lectures."
In its letter to MU, the BMC stated, "As local train services have been resumed in Mumbai for the common people from February 1, we need to analyse the spread of the Covid-19 infection and the rise or fall in the number of cases. The decision regarding the reopening of offline lectures in degree colleges and universities will be taken after February 22, 2021."
The degree colleges said they will continue to conduct online lectures and will focus on preparing for summer semester examination via online mode. The principal of a South Mumbai college said, "Offline lectures should be reopened once students and staff members are permitted to commute by suburban train services with relaxations in time slots. We will continue to conduct online lectures as summer semester exams will be conducted soon."
(With inputs from FPJ's Ronald Rodrigues)