Universities and colleges in Maharashtra will resume physical classes from 20 October, according to Maharashtra Higher Education Minister Uday Samant. However, students must be fully vaccinated in order to attend classes.
Vaccination is not mandatory for students below 18 years of age.
According to Samant, students who have not been fully vaccinated, should get it done "on priority by coordinating with their respective colleges". He also said universities and colleges could set up vaccination camps for the same, adding that teaching and non-teaching staff should finish their vaccination on priority.
The decision over the number of students attending the physical classes will be taken after consultation with the local administration. In regions with declining COVID-19 cases, universities and colleges can open with 50 percent or more students.
In regions where the coronavirus active cases are higher and are likely to increase, the decision to start physical classes can be taken by the local corporations.
Samant added that universities should continue with compulsory online classes for students who will not be able to attend physical classes.
According to Samant, hostels will be reopened in phases, adding that the director of higher and technical education will review the situation and take the necessary steps in this regard.
In case of Mumbai, the decision to start classes will be taken in consultation with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
According to Times of India, most colleges may consider restarting physical classes after Diwali.
The Maharashtra government has been relaxing coronavirus norms. Earlier this month, the government reopened junior colleges and schools in both rural and urban areas. In urban areas, classes reopened for classes 8 to 12, while in rural areas, schools were opened for students of classes 5 to 12 from 4 October.
In Mumbai, however, very few junior colleges have reopened. Many students were facing problems in commuting as the local trains are currently open only to fully vaccinated people only. Many parents were also not giving their consent for their children to attend classes as the students were not vaccinated.
Keywords: Maharashtra, Maharashtra colleges reopening, Uday Samant, COVID-19, coronavirus norms, BMC, Maharashtra schools reopening