The University Grants Commission on Friday issued a notice asking students to exercise “due diligence” with regard to studying in China in light of the country’s strict travel policies due to the coronavirus pandemic

“Any prospective student needs to be aware that the government of the People’s Republic of China has imposed strict travel restrictions in the wake of COVID-19 and suspended all visas since November 2020,” the notice said, according to PTI.

A large number of Indian students have not been able to return to China to continue their studies due to these restrictions, the UGC said.

This notice came soon after universities in China announced admissions for the new session and are offering courses online.

However, the University Grants Commission and All India Council for Technical Education does not recognise a degree via online courses without prior approval. The notice asked students to exercise caution to avoid any “further problems in higher studies or employment.”

China is experiencing its worst coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic first began in late 2019. The surge in cases is driven by the Omicron variant of Covid-19, which was first detected in November last year.

While the coronavirus case tally in China is comparatively lower as compared to the global infection count, Beijing follows a “zero tolerance” policy for the disease, enforcing strict lockdowns, conducting mass testing and imposing travel bans. China reported nearly 5,000 positive Covid cases on Friday.

Some cities such as Shanghai have avoided a full lockdown. Authorities have instead imposed individual building lockdowns, suspended bus services and made it mandatory for visitors to produce a negative coronavirus test report.