Panjab University to reopen campus in phased manner starting September 13, students say this is a partial win

To avail hostel facilities, parents of the concerned student need to provide a consent form wherein they guarantee that their child would not violate COVID norms
Joint Students' Action Committee is made up of eleven students organisations — ASA, SFS, NSUI, Y4S, SOI, ISA, AISA, PUSU, SFI, PSU Lalkaar and Sath
Joint Students' Action Committee is made up of eleven students organisations — ASA, SFS, NSUI, Y4S, SOI, ISA, AISA, PUSU, SFI, PSU Lalkaar and Sath

In what comes as a partial relief to protesting students, the Panjab University has decided to reopen their campus in a phased manner from September 13. 

According to the official notice, the varsity will first open for final year postgraduate students from the Department of Physics, Department of Chemistry, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Dental College. However, this is not enough for students as they would be continuing their protest until a detailed reopening plan is out. 

The Joint Students' Action Committee made up of 11 student groups who have been protesting against the varsity management regarding various issues, one of which was reopening of campus, released a statement that read, "PU authorities have released the partial plan of reopening. It has decided to reopen four departments in the first phase. It is a huge victory of students struggle. We demand that PU authorities must release the definite plan to reopen the whole campus as everything is open." 

Hostel rules
A limited number of students would be allowed to stay in the varsity hostels due to the prevailing COVID situation. Even to avail those hostel facilities, the notice reads, "consent from parents mentioning that their ward will follow all the SOPs/directions issued by the Government of India and the University from time to time," would be required. 

The notice also adds that an undertaking has to be submitted through the chairperson of the concerned department that the hostel would be vacated if and when the situation demands. 

Apart from that, those availing the hostel facility need to be vaccinated against the Coronavirus with at least one dose. Students are also expected to produce "a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours of reporting in the hostel for accommodation". Further, the notice states that any shops such as tailors, barbers, washers would not be provided till and guests or visitor entry is forbidden for time being.

NIRF ranking
The reopening announcement comes as the varsity climbed up six steps and now ranks 38 amongst educational institutions in the country, according to Union Education Ministry’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) announced on September 9. In the 2020 list, the varsity was ranked 44. Among the best universities, out of 100, PU’s ranking has also gone up from 26 in 2020 to 23 this year.

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