Mumbai University to soon issue circular on reopening of colleges

Mumbai University (MU) said it will soon issue a circular, based on a government resolution passed Wednesday on reopening of colleges, to all colleges affiliated with it.

The government has allowed students above the age of 18 to attend college from October 20 if they are fully vaccinated. Those who are not vaccinated can continue to attend online classes. The government has also asked universities and colleges affiliated with them to arrange vaccination drives for students who have not been vaccinated. The government has permitted colleges to allow students at 50 per cent or more as per their capacity after taking permission from the local municipality.

“Based on the government resolution, Mumbai University is deliberating on instructions/guidelines to be issued to all colleges in order to reopen colleges to all students. We will soon issue a circular in this regard,” said Leeladhar Bansod, PRO of Mumbai University. A total of 837 colleges in Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Palghar, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg are affiliated with Mumbai University, one of the biggest universities in the country. An MU official said the move will benefit many students who are fully vaccinated.

CA Vidyadhar Joshi, Vice-Principal, Vaze-Kelkar College in Mulund (east), said, “We are waiting for Mumbai University and BMC to issue the circular and guidelines, following which we will be able to decide on the further course of action. The practicals for SYJC are underway with 50 per cent capacity in one batch.”

The BMC, too, seems to be preparing for vaccinating students to expedite the process of reopening colleges. Dr Gautam Bhansali, chief coordinator of all private hospitals for vaccination, said, “Till now, colleges have not approached us but as and when they do, we will try our best to arrange free vaccination drives for all students.”

Student associations and unions have welcomed the decision but said it’s not practically possible to reopen colleges by October 20. “If free doses are provided to all colleges on top priority based on the number of students enrolled, then within few months reopening colleges may be possible,” said Siddharth Ingale, president of Maharashtra Students Union.

“The online experience has been insensitive and unproductive. It’s encouraging that the government wants to reopen colleges, but there’s no clear plan of action in place. For example, the administration lacks vaccination statistics, would it organise a vaccine drive?”said a student member of Ambedkarite Students’ Association, TISS Mumbai.

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