Published: 14th October 2020
From isolation centres to testing facility, JNU students come up with blueprint for phased return from Oct 15
The JNU Students' Union and the Hostel Presidents urged the university to arrange an isolation centre for students who reach campus when testing is not possible
After the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) asked the students to collaborate and come up with a plan to bring back the final semester students and research fellows as part of the nation-wide unlock that's underway, the hostel presidents have come up with a detailed 'blueprint'. This includes the phased return of students and safety measures that need to be maintained when they are on campus. The three-phase plan talks about everything from the need for an isolation centre, testing facility to thermal scanning and sanitisation.
The JNU Students' Union and the Hostel Presidents urged the university to arrange an isolation centre for students who reach campus when testing is not possible. "Alternatively, the testing facility should be operational 24x7," said the blueprint that will be sent to the administration. "However we reiterate that the JNU Administration must hold an IHA (Inter-Hall Administration) Committee meeting, which is the statutory body to discuss all matters regarding the hostel administration and general health and well being, at the earliest to discuss and adopt the timeline for the phased return of students to the campus," said the union.
The Union also added that the identified quarantine centre must ensure appropriate facilities for specially-abled students. "An RT-PCR COVID testing centre should be made functional inside campus with the help of the Delhi and Central government. The isolation facilities shall provide sanitisers, masks, basic amenities and mess facilities which can ensure physical distancing by food delivery or one by one take away," the statement further read. "Thermal scanning and sanitisers should be available at the gates, hostels, library, and schools. Arrangements should be made to provide healthcare and hospital facilities if needed. Separate arrangements can be made for students with lung ailments. Accommodation should be arranged for students awaiting their RT-PCR results on campus," added the union and the hostel presidents.
The phased return of students should be initiated by October 15, keeping in mind the guidelines of the UGC and the MHA, the students demanded. The three phases that they have proposed kick off on October 15 with the final year students and research scholars on extension under 9(B) who have their submissions in December. This phase also includes the return of specially-abled students and students stranded in Delhi. Phase II which begins on November 1, will allow the rest of the research scholars and postgraduate students to come back, especially the ones who need to use the labs. The third and final phase will see the return of the undergraduate students and the ones admitted in the new semester from November 15 to 30, according to the plan.
"There has been immense damage to the academic activities of the students and this has been pointed out before as well. The administration should facilitate the safe return of students to the campus. Considering the extraordinary situation, the university should provide an appropriate extension for all research scholars who have not been able to access resources and progress in their research due to the lockdown," said JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh.