Speaking to the media on Sunday, Union HRD Minister Dr.Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank revealed that the Centre would take a call on the reopening of educational institutions on April 14, the last day of the nationwide lockdown. The decision will be based on the evaluation of the COVID-19 situation. According to Nishank, the priority was to ensure the safety of students and teachers. At the same time, he assured that the students did not face an academic loss if the schools and colleges remained shut beyond April 14. Moreover, Nishank observed that a plan to conduct pending exams and evaluation was ready after the lifting of the lockdown.
Govt to take decision on Apr 14 whether to reopen schools, colleges after reviewing COVID-19 situation: HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal to PTI— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) April 5, 2020
Safety of students, teachers of utmost importance to government: HRD Minister Pokhriyal on reopening of educational institutions— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) April 5, 2020
Plan ready for conducting pending exams, evaluation once the lockdown is lifted: HRD Minister— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) April 5, 2020
There has been considerable speculation on whether the 21-day nationwide lockdown will be extended. For instance, Arunachal CM Pema Khandu quoted PM Modi as saying on April 2 that the lockdown would end on April 15. However, he deleted the tweet minutes later citing that the officer who uploaded the post was not fluent in Hindi. Moreover, national carrier Air India's announcement on Friday of closing ticket bookings until April 30 set the rumour mills abuzz.
Meanwhile, states such as Maharashtra have hinted at an extension of the lockdown beyond the last date considering the growing number of novel coronavirus cases in the state. As per an official press release, the PM stated in the video conference with all CMs that it was crucial to formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered re-emergence of the population after the end of the lockdown period. He asked the states to send their suggestions regarding the exit strategy. Currently, there are 3374 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in India out of which 277 people have recovered while 77 individuals have lost their lives.