University Grants Commission (UGC) has released the post-COVID lockdown re-opening guidelines for all the universities and colleges on November 5. All the students and staff must wear masks all the time and everyone must follow the physical distancing and hand sanitisation protocol, according to the guidelines.

The central and state government must have declared the area safe before a university or a college decides to re-open. The institution must follow all the guidelines prescribed by respective authorities. The institution might adopt stricter guidelines than the prescribed one if deemed necessary. No institutions can open if they are situated in a containment zone.

For Centrally-Funded Institutions, the head of the institution has the authority to decide if it is feasible to re-open the institution. For state and private university, it is up to the state to decide on whether conducting physical classes is feasible.

Research and post-graduate students is science and technology programmes may join the physical classes, according to the guidelines, as the number of students in such programmes is relatively less. Final year students can also come to the classes for academic and placement purposes. For all the remaining students, online classes should still be the preferred way to impart lessons.

For students who prefer to study online, institutions should provide learning materials online and access to e-learning sources. Students may also be allowed to visit the institutions for consultation purpose on an appointment basis to avoid crowding.

Here is the direct link to access the UGC Guidelines.

Highlgihts of UGC Guidelines:

  • Head of institutions for centrally-affiliated institutions will decide if it is feasible to open the institution.
  • For private and state university, state has the authority to prescribe guidelines for re-opening of universities and colleges.
  • The area of the institution must not be in a containment zone and must have been declared safe for re-opening.
  • Thermal scanning must be performed on all the students and staff at the entry point.
  • All students and staff must wear a face mask and follow the physical distancing and hand sanitisation protocol.
  • Proper care should be taken while sneezing and coughing to avoid spread of droplets.
  • Institutions must have an isolation ward for symptomatic cases and arrangements of quarantine facility for COVID-19-positive persons and for those who have come in contact with such a person.
  • Students enrolled in research and postgraduate programmes in science and technology should be allowed first due to the small number of students. Final year students can also be allowed to come to classes for academic and placement purpose.
  • Online class should still be the primary mode of imparting lessons.
  • Institutions should provide online course material and access to e-learning for students who opt to study online.