Special guidelines have been issued by the UGC for higher education institutions to ensure COVID-safety. Due to the pandemic, colleges and universities across the country have started reopening after being closed since March 2020. Re-opened colleges, however, will be different than the way they used to be. As per the guidelines issued, teaching hours in a day may be extended, the college or university campuses will not have more than 50 percent of students at any given time, and the college activities and field trips will be reduced.
The colleges have been asked by UGC to mandate regular visits of a counselor to ensure stress-free campuses and mental wellness. Colleges and universities have also been asked to restrict the study tours, outsides experts on campuses, field works, etc. Wearing the identity cards at all times should be made mandatory for all the officers, students, teachers, and staff.
In an official letter to the heads of higher education institutes and universities, the UGC said that the new academic session was going on and the colleges and universities needed a customized plan according to the local conditions where they were located in order to deal with any eventuality arising because of COVID-19 before activities resume on campus. The students will be relieved of certain uncertainties regarding their mode of functioning of colleges and universities, regarding their career, and the conduct of physical classes. It will also relieve the teachers from any uncertainty regarding the continuity of their salary and services.
Only the colleges and universities that reside outside the containment zones will be allowed to re-open. The staff and students living in the containment zones will not be allowed to college. As per the guidelines, the staff and students shall also be advised not to visit areas falling within containment zones.
Not more than 50% of the total students should be present at any point in time among those universities which reopen.