Maharashtra's Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant on Wednesday announced that colleges in Maharashtra will reopen with 50 per cent occupancy from February 15. The colleges in the state will reopen after a gap of 10 months due to pandemic protocols. Maharashtra was one of the worst-hit states in the country in terms of number of coronavirus cases, deaths.
Uday Samant also announced that the rule of minimum 75 per cent attendance will be waived off for this year. The Higher and Technical Education Minister said that the criteria of not making 75 per cent attendance compulsory has been taken in the view of the pandemic situation in the state.
All hostels may not reopen
All hostels may not reopen from February 15 as some of them are being used as quarantine centres, Samant said.
Physical classes in colleges stopped after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic last March. 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.
(With inputs from PTI)