Colleges at the University of Mumbai will remain online until February 22
University officials said a circular would be issued with confirmation from civic authorities to notify colleges of reopening protocols.
Two days before the colleges’ planned reopening, the University of Mumbai (MU) on Saturday issued a circular advising its affiliated colleges to continue online classes until February 22. MU in its latest circular said, “Based on our discussion with BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation), it is clarified that colleges are not expected to reopen for physical classes until February 22. “
University officials said another circular would then be issued with confirmation from civic authorities to notify colleges of reopening protocols. MU’s circular follows a letter from BMC rejecting MU’s request to reopen colleges from Monday.
“We had a meeting with officials from BMC on Friday and they shared their concerns. As train services resumed for all citizens from February 1, BMC wants to first investigate whether restarting premises for the general public has made a difference in the number of Covid-19 cases, ”said Baliram Gaikwad, Registrar in Charge, MU. He added that BMC has therefore requested to postpone the reopening of the college for a week until clarification is provided.
During the first week of February, Minister of State for Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant announced the decision to reopen colleges from February 15 with a 50% participation on campus. On February 5, a circular from the university said that the reopening of the institutes will depend on the final appeal taken by local civic authorities.
“We have been working on disinfecting the college for some time now and are ready to bring the students back, but not until we have received an official note. As at least 30% of our students reside outside of Mumbai (region), we need to be very sure before calling them back to town, ”said Ashok Wadia, Principal of Jai Hind College, Churchgate. He added that conflicting circulars from different authorities do not help already anxious students. “We will wait for an official word on the reopening before announcing it,” he said.
A senior BMC official said the decision to reopen colleges will depend entirely on the cases of Covid-19 recorded in the Mumbai metropolitan area (MMR) over the next week. “We have to make sure that restarting the premises for everyone does not lead to a spike in cases. It is only after that that we will be able to authorize the reopening of the colleges. Students should also travel by train and we must take all necessary precautions before allowing the reopening of colleges, ”said the official.