Delhi University to Commence Practical Classes for Science Students in Physical Mode from Aug 16

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The Delhi University will commence classes for project and practical work for science students in physical mode from August 16 in view of the decline in Covid cases, even as theory classes will continue online, the varsity said on Thursday. An office-bearer of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), however, slammed the move, saying the varsity had no regard for the safety of students and teachers.

“Taking note of the decline in number of COVID-19 cases, it has been decided that classes and practical/project work with respect to PG and UG programs students in science courses in the university and its colleges shall be conducted in physical mode with effect from 16.08.2021 observing necessary protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” an official notification read. “… therefore all teaching and non-teaching staff shall attend the duties at their workplace with immediate effect,” it said, adding all colleges, centres, and departments shall be fully functional.

The online teaching and learning activities shall continue for all other academic programs, it said. The varsity directed the principals of colleges and provosts of hostels to ensure strict adherence to Covid guidelines while providing accommodation for eligible outstation students in consultation with Dean Students’ Welfare and proctor of the university.

On Wednesday, Registrar Vikas Gupta had announced that the varsity is exploring the possibility of reopening the campus for students of the science stream. The varsity was closed since March last year due to Covid but allowed final year students to return to colleges for accessing labs and take practical classes in February this year. However, the classes were suspended again in April due to second Covid wave.

Professor Abha Dev Habib, treasurer of DUTA, criticized the decision, saying overcrowding in classrooms and labs will act as a hindrance in enforcing social distancing norms, while returning to the city and finding accommodation in just 10 days will be a challenge for outstation students. “Can a notice ask classes for any stream to be held in physical mode? It is easy to write that all protocols should be followed but how to ensure that they are followed or in fact, can be followed,” she said.

“In both UG colleges and science departments, there is overcrowding in classrooms and labs. The MSc physics department has more number of students than can be actually accommodated. Can the university expect students to return to Delhi and find accommodation in 10 days?” she said. The university has not cared to publish any report on how many students, teachers, and karamcharis have been able to get themselves and their families vaccinated, she said.

”The notification declares that Covid cases are decreasing even as there are reports which predict third wave building anytime now. This letter has been issued in complete disregard of the concerns of students, teachers, karamcharis,” she said.

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