The Maharashtra government on Wednesday said colleges will be allowed to resume with 50% attendance from February 15. The government has also decided to relax the 75 per cent compulsory attendance criteria for the current academic year, said Uday Samant, Higher and Technical Education Minister.
The colleges are reopening in the state after ten months after the Covid-19 pandemic shut schools and other academic institutions across the country.
Universities can conduct examinations online as well as off-line as per the coronavirus situation in respective areas, the minister said.
"Colleges in the state can resume physical classes from February 15 with 50 per cent capacity," he said. Universities have been directed not to force students to pay full fees, and a committee is looking into fee-related grievances of students, Samant further said.
"If a college is found violating government norms, it will face legal action," he said. Universities can start with practicals and gradually schedule physical lectures, Samant said, adding that colleges are expected to take students into confidence while deciding on this.
Students will get relaxation from the 75 per cent attendance rule as colleges have remained shut for most part of the academic year 2020-21 due to the pandemic, he said. Curriculum of second and final years of graduation courses has been covered to some extent through virtual classes, the minister said.
On January 29, the Delhi government had announced the reopening of all schools for classes 9 and 11 students as well as degree diploma institutions from February 5.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said the conditions would be similar to the ones announced when schools reopened for students of classes 10 and 12 on January 18. He had said students will attend classes only with the consent of parents, physical attendance will not be compulsory and all schools and colleges will be expected to follow the COVID-19 guidelines.