Published: 06th November 2020
Back to college: Postgrads and research scholars to come back to campuses first
The first to come back would be the students pursuing their postgraduation and research fellows, especially the ones in science streams followed by the final-year UG students
The University Grants Commission released a new set of detailed guidelines for students resuming classes in colleges and universities. The commission has come up with a detailed plan for students coming back to campuses across India.
The first to come back would be the students pursuing postgraduation and research fellows, especially the ones in science streams. "Students of all research programmes and post-graduate students in science and technology programmes may join as the number of such students is comparatively less and norms of physical distancing and preventive measures can be easily enforced," said the statement from Dr Rajnish Jain, Secretary, UGC. "Further, final year students may also be allowed to join for academic and placement purposes, as per the decision of the head of the institution. However, it should be ensured that not more than 50 per cent of the total students should be present at any point of time and necessary guidelines/protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are observed. Students may visit their respective departments in a small number for consultation with the faculty members, after seeking prior appointments to avoid crowding, while maintaining physical distancing norms and other safety protocols," it further added.
But the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union who have been protesting on campus to bring back the students in a phased manner has called the guidelines 'unacceptable' and 'discriminatory'. "The guidelines by the UGC are unacceptable as they tend to discriminate between students on the basis of their stream. To put it simply, with deadlines for PhD and MPhil submissions for final year students in December, the UGC cannot decide if any one class of students deserve access to university resources more than the others. Furthermore, the previous UGC guidelines in April had mentioned an extension for all research scholars, but it finds no mention here. Overall, this centralised approach to decision-making is inherently antithetical to the autonomy of institutions and their capacity to develop plans for phased return according to their specific circumstances," said JNUSU Vice-President Saket Moon.
The ABVP welcomes the guidelines and hoped that the university implements it in its entirety. "We are sure that the University will implement UGC Guidelines for reopening as soon as possible with proper SOP norms," said JNU ABVP's former President Manish Jangid.