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Re-opening of HEIs: Govt issues COVID-19 guidelines for colleges, varsities across J&K HEIs to re-open in Summer zone of Jammu from Feb 01; from Feb 15 in Winter zones of Kashmir & Jammu Divisions

JAMMU, JANUARY 28: The Jammu and Kashmir Government today issued several guidelines with respect to the re-opening of Higher Education Institutions  (Universities and Government Degree Colleges) for academic activities.

The higher education institutions in Summer Zone areas of Jammu Division will re-open from  February 01, 2021.

While as in Kashmir Division and Winter Zone areas of Jammu Division, the institutions will open on 15th February, 2021 after winter vacations.

The order issued here by the Higher Education Department has urged the institutions, staff and students alike to follow all Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) in letter and spirit, in addition to suggestions of District Disaster Management Authorities and SOPs for safety and health protocol issued by the UGC.

According to the guidelines for the ownership of the initiative, an Advisory Committee needs to be framed by the Registrar/Principal of the University/College including members from Municipal Bodies, Health and few parents for monitoring and support of the Universities/ Colleges.

The guidelines asked to avoid the risk of transmission, the students, faculty and staff should be screened and symptomatic ones be advised to get clinically assessed before allowing them entry into the campus. In this regard, adequate arrangements of thermal scanners, sanitizers, face masks should be made available at all entry and exit points including the reception area.

It said that all students, Professors and other staff should wear face masks compulsorily and have their own sanitizer also with them.

Besides, the Students shall sit almost 2 meters apart from each other.

In case of non-availability of such space, staggered schedule/shift timings and students rotation can be an option to be devised by Registrar/Principal concerned, according to the guidelines issued as per UGC norms.

It added that sufficient hand washing points with proper soap should be made available for the students and Staff at suitable locations within the premises of HEIs. Everybody should wash hands frequently maintaining proper physical distance. Safe water, cleaning supplies and sufficient segregated toilets shall be kept operational.

The guidelines stated that touching of surfaces by the students, Professors and other staff members in and around    the area of college should be cautioned against and prohibited.

Disinfecting, sanitizing and cleaning the learning spaces, laboratories to be ensured as per protocol in all the Institutions.

While coming and leaving colleges, it said, students and staff should maintain physical distance of at least one meter from each other and no student or staff member should breach this distance rule either during the colleges/universities or while coming or leaving the institute. In all cases gathering or grouping should be avoided and everybody should come and leave college/university individually.

In addition to above advisories, the guidelines said that continuous monitoring of the students and faculty to be ensured and also the Isolation facilities shall be put in place in the campuses for symptomatic persons and quarantine facilities for those who were in contact with the positive tested persons and Rapid tests for Covid 19 be got conducted for such cases.

Besides, the guidelines called for avoiding all such programmes and extracurricular activities where physical distancing is not possible.

Universities/Colleges should ensure there is space to temporarily separate sick students and staff without creating stigma. Share procedures with staff, parents and students, including advising all sick students and staff to remain home.

Colleges/Universities authorities should limit any non essential visitors, volunteers and activities involving external groups in the Colleges/Universities.

Hostels may be opened only in such cases where it is necessary while strictly observing the safety and health preventive measures as per instructions of the University Grants Commission.

Director Colleges/Registrars of all Universities and Nodal Principals Jammu/Kashmir shall strengthen counseling facilities for 24×7 for needy students and faculty.

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