The Delhi University has directed its hostels to allow re-entry of PhD students in a phased manner but they must quarantine themselves in their room for 14 days. In a notice issued on August 19, the administration has asked hostels to give first preference to the senior PhD students followed by other PhD students.
For those who vacated their rooms following the varsity's notification dated March 19, it has asked the hostels not to charge mess fees and charge only 50 per cent of the monthly electricity and water charges from the residents for the entire duration of their absence.
In view of the coronavirus pandemic, some hostels of the varsity had asked their students to vacate hostels while some students had left for their home towns and vacated their rooms themselves.
"Hostels are advised to allow only registered bona-fide PhD students to come back to the hostels in a phased manner… However, such residents will have to mandatory follow 14-days self-quarantine in their respective hostel rooms followed by their screening by the WUS Health Center," the notice said.
After the completion of the quarantine time, hostels are advised to allow such PhD students to attend their respective research laboratories, the notice said, adding that such residents should provide evidence about visiting the laboratories only in the form of a letter from their research supervisors.
The varsity also advised hostel authorities "to devise a method to ensure the availability of at least one person for regular interaction with the residents" since "it is very essential to interact with the hostel residents on a regular basis for an update on their difficulties and boost their morale".
"The hostel residents may be encouraged to walk, play, practise yoga and spend time together within the hostel premises in limited number by following the social distancing norms," the notice said. Hostels may open computer room, TV room, library and reading room for the benefit of the residents but must ensure safe distancing between the residents while they use such facilities. However, common room and gym shall remain closed till further order, it added.
It also advised hostels not to allow residents to leave the hostel premises except for medical emergency/reasons and also asked them to arrange medicines and other essential items for their residents through alternate resources or staff, including online stores. "The entry of the guests and outsiders to remain restricted in all the hostels, till further order. The coupon sale for the mess facility to remain restricted in all the hostels till further orders," it said.
Hostels are advised to minimise their running expenses towards staff and manpower in view of the very few residents actually living in the hostels, the notice said. Hostels which are located within a common hostel complex or located very close by may opt for the centralised security, sanitation, garden and office staff or services to minimize their running expenses, it added.
"Hostels with a very few residents may arrange 'Packed Food' or 'Tiffin' from the adjacent hostels (as per the printed/actual meal charges) in order to minimize mess operating expenses for the limited number of the residents," it said. The varsity said the final year students who wish to vacate their hostel rooms may be allowed to visit their hostel rooms to collect their belongings under the strict supervision of the hostel authorities.
"Such residents must pay their dues and take the clearance from the hostel," it said, adding that well-being of all support staff should also be equally prioritised. "Hostels are advised to sanitize the hostel premises on a regular basis and to maintain safe and hygienic atmosphere within the premises," it said.