Published: 08th April 2021
Vaccinate staff, faculty and some students of CFTIs on priority, MoE tells Health Ministry
The letter mentions no age criteria for the people who require jabs. However, one has to be above 45 to register for vaccination in India
Amid delays and shortage of vaccination doses in the country, the Ministry of Education, in March had asked the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to vaccinate the faculty, staff and some students of the Centrally Funded Technical Institutes, that includes IITs, NITs, IISERs, IIMs, IIITs and IISc. In a letter signed by Prashant Agarwal, Director (IITs and IIITs), Department of Higher Education the MoE has requested a 'special provision' to conduct these vaccination drives.
The letter mentions no age criteria for the people receiving the vaccines. Recently, IIT Gandhinagar vaccinating over 900 of its students who are below 45 had made to the news. This was because the Centre on Monday, had declined a request by Maharashtra to vaccinate people above the age of 25. Also, Co-WIN, India's vaccination registration portal only accepts registrations of people who are aged 45 years or above.
The letter states that vaccinating the staff, students and faculty is imminent because most of these campuses are residential and some students, especially the research scholars have already come back in phases. "In view of increasing COVID cases once again, there is a need to provide immunity to the campus community, which includes students, faculty and staff members. As most of the courses in CFTIs have lab works, there is also a need to get more students back on the campus so that the lab courses could go on," reads the letter. It also states that common spaces and shared restrooms too could contribute to the surge of cases.
India is now facing a sudden spurt of COVID cases. On Thursday, the country reported more than 1.2 Lakh fresh cases. Recently, hostels of IIT Roorkee, IIT Patna and IIT Jodhpur were sealed after a number of students tested positive for COVID. Most of the CFTIs had started calling their research scholars back after the Ministry of Home Affairs had announced a relaxation of lockdown restrictions in late 2020.