Amid downtick in novel Coronavirus cases in the state, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday allowed all universities and colleges to restart physical classes from October 20. Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, the state's Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant said that students must be double jabbed in order to attend physical classes.
Samant said that all state-run universities, non-agricultural colleges, self-financed universities, deemed universities and afflated colleges can hold physical classes. However, teaching and non-teaching staff should be vaccinated.
"Only the students who have taken both the doses can attend the classes. Those students who are yet to complete their vaccination against COVID-19 should get it on priority by coordinating with their respective colleges," the minister added.
The decision regarding the number of students attending a class would be taken after discussion with the local administrations. "Each university should issue the standard operating procedure (SOP) to the colleges affiliated to it," Samant said.
The decision comes at a time when schools reopened classrooms for classes 5 to 12 in rural areas and in urban areas classes 8 to 12 from October 4 after being closed for more than one-and-a-half year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Maharashtra minister Uday Samant said that a proposal to permit College going students to board Mumbai locals will be submitted before the Maharashtra chief secretary soon. Currently, local train services in Mumbai is only available for fully vaccinated citizens and those working in essential sectors. Students appearing for competitive or entrance exams are also allowed to use suburban trains.
The students who will be staying at the hostel will have to wait for college intimation. "The colleges are supposed to discuss the issue with the officials of higher technical education regarding the opening of hostels," Samant said.
India on Wednesday reported 15,823 fresh Coronavirus cases and 226 deaths in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a statement. India has so far administered more than 96.78 crore vaccine doses. Over 32 lakh people were administered COVID doses till 7 pm on Wednesday.
With PTI inputs