The University Grants Commission (UGC) has left it to the colleges to take the call on reopening its campuses for physical classes. It also directed the colleges to decide on the mode of conducting exams — online, offline, or hybrid mode as per their suitability. In a recent notice, the central body said, “all decisions must be made in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines”.
“It is once again requested that the HEIs may take appropriate decision with regard to the opening of campuses; conducting classes and examinations in offline/online/blended mode in accordance with the guidelines issued by the UGC and following COVID Appropriate Behavior and necessary protocols, guidelines, directions, advisories issued by the central and state Governments or competent authorities from time to time, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic,” UGC said.
The circular has come at a time when students across universities are demanding online exams. Students fear Omicron – the new covid variant. While MP has allowed online exams, UP is yet to make an announcement. Students from AKTU have taken to Twitter and have been protesting regarding their demands for a long now.
Most colleges have been closed since March 2020 due to the lockdown imposed as a result of Covid-19. While several students have been demanding the reopening of campuses, others are against reopening and conducting physical exams due to the threat of Omicron. Several states including Delhi, West Bengal, and Karnataka have allowed the reopening of colleges but with limited students or in a phased manner. Karnataka had made vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory for attending offline classes for students above 18 years.
Delhi University had opened offline classes in September but only senior year and research students. While Jadavpur University has allowed physical classes for MPhil and PhD students Calcutta University and several of its affiliated colleges reopened offline classes for senior students. Mumbai University, however, opened on October 20 for all students.