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Delhi University colleges reopen, students back on campus after two years, India News News

Classrooms are buzzing with students wearing masks, queues at roadside canteens and restaurants, and bustling crowds at nearby metro stations – the University of Delhi campus in New Delhi, India’s capital came alive on Thursday as students returned to colleges after a nearly two-year hiatus.

The university was closed in March 2020 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nearest Vishwavidyalaya metro station was teeming with students as they made their way to their colleges on North Campus, where they were greeted by guards carrying thermal scanners in their hands.

Canteens and roadside restaurants were buzzing, bringing joy to owners as well as students, many of whom were able to bond with their friends over a cup of tea for the very first time.

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As students lined up outside stalls to enjoy momos, tea, sweet corn and other snacks, business was picking up at these restaurants that had been strapped for cash due to the closure of the university. When PTI surveyed inside classrooms, most students were seen wearing masks.

Manish Kansal, a teacher at Hindu College, said the students’ excitement was quite apparent despite their masked faces.

“We were meeting our students for the first time. They were wearing masks but we could see the excitement in their eyes. Some students were even clicking pictures of the college, roads and traffic outside,” he said. he told PTI.

Gajendra Mohan Thakur, a 26-year-old Campus Law Center student, said, “I was excited to be back on campus. The university was closed for about two years, and the online study mode was not effective enough to replace the offline mode. mode of education. It’s time to reclaim our lost years.

Freshman Kalyanai Harbola made no attempt to hide her excitement and said the reopening of the campus had put her life back on track. We are excited to join offline classes as it provides a whole new slew of opportunities and exposure to shape our future, she said.

Earlier this month, several student associations had organized demonstrations demanding the reopening of the campus. Authorities decided to resume classes after a drop in the number of COVID-19 cases in the nation’s capital.

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While there was good attendance from students in the nation’s capital, attendance from other states was low, with numbers not expected to increase until next week. The directors, however, said the turnout was better than they expected. According to teachers, attendance was higher among second graders than first graders.

Not everyone was happy with the resumption of offline classes, however, as students at the outpost station complained of soaring rents at paid guesthouses. Gauri, a third-year English (Honours) student from Kerala, said PG rates have tripled. PG landlords take advantage of the situation and ask the students to triple the amount of the actual rent. They ask Rs 16,000 for a triple room. It’s too much,” she said.

Several outstation students that PTI spoke to complained that they had too few days to plan their return. I’m anxious because we have exams in the next 20 days. We have to settle a lot of things and also study for the exams. It’s extra pressure. Students were asking for blended courses but our request was denied. They said it was not possible, said Aditi Jain, 24, an English masters student.

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Another student, Mamatha Rose, 18, from Kerala, who looked visibly tired after queuing at Vishwavidyalaya metro station, also shared her grouse. “They informed us earlier that you have to come to Delhi. But two days ago they told us that you can take courses online. I mean there is so much mismanagement. We had already booked tickets and my friend and her dad helped us book a PG, she said.

“They didn’t give us enough time to change. Today I can’t attend classes because I have to change. They should have provided us with accommodation,” Rose added.

Even those who have managed to find accommodation in university hostels are no better off. With many hostels being renovated, students are forced to find accommodation elsewhere.

“Assignment of the hostel is in progress but, anyway, places are limited and students are given hostel rooms based on a merit list, so very few students get them”, said a student from Kirori Mal College.

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