Representational Image | Students at Delhi University | Photo:
Representational Image | Students at Delhi University | Photo:
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New Delhi: The Delhi University is looking to partially reopen colleges next month to allow final-year science students — undergraduates as well as postgraduates — to finish their lab work in order to complete their courses. 

Theoretical studies are expected to continue online for now. 

“We had initially planned to open colleges in Delhi University on 1 January but were unable to do so due to the unexpected spike in Covid cases. A meeting was held Wednesday with college principals and head of departments,” said Delhi University registrar Vikas Gupta. 

“We are in the works of opening up colleges for final-year undergraduate and postgraduate students who need access to laboratories and practicals to attain their degree,” he added.

The tentative date for reopening of colleges is 1 February as if now, Gupta added. 

All educational institutions in India took classes online in March last year as the Covid-19 pandemic took root in the country. In September last year, the central government allowed colleges to be reopened from 15 October for science students who need to perform lab work as part of their courses.

Delhi University Students Union president Akshit Dahiya said they had “over the last one week submitted a memorandum to the DU administration, asking them to start phase-wise opening of the colleges”. 

“We wanted final-year science students to get access to the labs for their practicals since they are losing out on their credit points,” he added. 

Asked about the Covid safety protocol that will be followed when students return, Gupta said “colleges are yet to decide how the phased opening will happen but they will be adhering to UGC (University Grants Commission) protocols on Covid hygiene”. 

“We also expect students to maintain social distancing and strictly adhere to Covid guidelines,” he added.

Also Read: Govt wants panel to study, mitigate impact of delayed board exams on college schedules in 2021

Library to be reopened

Several student organisations have also submitted a memorandum to Delhi University for the reopening of the central library. 

According to a statement issued by the All India Students’ Association on 5 January, the librarian has reassured the students that the library will reopen from 15 January on a preferential basis. 

Dahiya added, “We want all students to have access to reading material. We were assured that the central library will open by the third week of January. In addition to asking for reopening of the library, we have also requested the administration to create a mobile app for online education.” 

According to Dahiya, accessing “the current portal is not easy and requires high internet speed”. 

“To ensure that students living in rural and semi-urban areas with weak financial conditions have equal access to education we have requested for a simple application,” he said.

Also Read: Covid hasn’t crushed study abroad plans but students could face ‘more competition’ in 2021


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