Most colleges in Maharashtra's Pune city remained closed on Tuesday, despite the order issued by the civic authorities permitting them to reopen for physical classes, an official said. Colleges are exercising caution and waiting for clear instructions from Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) and the state government, the official said. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had last week issued an order allowing physical classes at colleges within its limits with students and staffers who have been fully vaccinated.
"We are waiting for clear instructions from the state higher education department and Savitribai Phule Pune University, as most colleges are affiliated to it," said Sudhakar Jadhavar, general secretary of Maharashtra State Principals Federation. The number of students who have taken both doses of the vaccine is less, he said, adding that there are at least 450 colleges within the PMC limits.
"We have asked all colleges to conduct a survey of students who have been fully vaccinated. We have also asked educational institutions to sanitise college campuses and complete the preparatory work, as we are expecting a circular from the state government about reopening of colleges," Mr Jadhavar said.
Dr Sanjay Kharat, the principal of Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce, said that the college has started conducting a survey of students who have been fully vaccinated. "Once we get the data, we can properly start physical lectures. This will take at least two to three days," he said.
Meanwhile, Fergusson College, an autonomous institution, reopened for physical classes on Tuesday. "We reopened the senior college wing for physical classes by adhering to all the COVID-19 protocols. Students who are fully vaccinated have been allowed to attend physical lectures," college principal Dr Ravindrasinh G Pardeshi said. The college was reopened in accordance with the PMC's order, he said.