UGC Releases Guidelines for Reopening of Colleges & Universities, Details Inside

The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Thursday released guidelines advising higher education institutions, outside containment zones, to reopen in phases.

The UGC has suggested a six-day schedule and directives to ensure that at any given time not more than 50% of the total students should be present at the college or the university.

The guidelines also state that cultural activities and meetings may be avoided on campuses, but sports may be allowed in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Home Ministry.

“Universities and colleges may plan opening the campuses in phases, with such activities where they can easily adhere to social distancing, use of face masks and other protective measures. This may include administrative offices, research laboratories and libraries etc,” the guidelines stated.

It added that thereafter, students of all research programmes and post-graduate students in science & technology programmes may join as the number of such students was comparatively less and norms of physical distancing and preventive measures can be easily enforced.

In hostels, sharing of rooms would not be permitted and symptomatic students will not be allowed to stay under any circumstances.

The decision for reopening campuses of central universities and other centrally funded higher education institutions has been left to the respective Vice Chancellors and heads of institutions.

However, for state universities and colleges, the respective state governments will have to take a call, the guidelines said.

The guidelines also make it clear that the universities and colleges shall only be allowed to open if they are outside the containment zones.

Students and staff living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend the colleges and they would also be advised against visiting such areas.

The guidelines also encourage faculty, staff and students of the universities and colleges to download ‘Aarogya Setu App’.

The Culture Ministry also issued guidelines for reopening of museums and art galleries from November 10.

The standard operating procedures for museums include a ban on use of audio guides, unless they can be disinfected after every use. Visitors will be encouraged to keep their belongings in cars to avoid baggage checks at the entrance, while use of lifts would preferably be reserved for the elderly and physically challenged.