Maharashtra: Colleges to start with 50 per cent capacity from February 15

MUMBAI: Colleges in Maharashtra can start physical classes with 50 per cent capacity from February 15, state Minister for Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant said on Wednesday.

All hostels may not reopen from February 15 as some of them are being used as quarantine centres, he said, speaking to reporters.

Physical classes in colleges stopped after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic last March.

Universities can conduct examinations online as well as off-line as per the coronavirus situation in respective areas, the minister said.

“Colleges in the state can resume physical classes from February 15 with 50 per cent capacity,” he said.

Universities have been directed not to force students to pay full fees, and a committee is looking into fee-related grievances of students, Samant further said.

“If a college is found violating government norms, it will face legal action,” he said.

Universities can start with practicals and gradually schedule physical lectures, Samant said, adding that colleges are expected to take students into confidence while deciding on this.

Students will get relaxation from the 75 per cent attendance rule as colleges have remained shut for most part of the academic year 2020-21 due to the pandemic, he said.

Curriculum of second and final years of graduation courses has been covered to some extent through virtual classes, the minister said.