Delhi University plans phased re-opening: Libraries first, then laboratories

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After a long pandemic break, the University of Delhi (DU) plans to reopen next week in a slow, phased manner beginning with its libraries, Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor P C Joshi said here Thursday.

Speaking at an Idea Exchange session of The Indian Express, Joshi said that the university had to open in a cautious and gradual manner given a large number of students from outside Delhi and the campus accommodation available.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority recently permitted colleges in the Capital to reopen for students.

Saying they didn’t want to do anything “opening the floodgates inviting the third wave”, Joshi said, “We will begin with libraries, and then laboratories. Then we will monitor and assess the situation and decide whether to open other things as well.”

Keeping in mind the limitations of the university’s capacity, he said, it will be voluntary for students to physically attend and teaching-learning will continue in a hybrid of online and offline classes. While all theory classes will be conducted online, practicals will be offline, and students would have the option of attending practicals physically with access to videos of sessions.

Pointing out that the university had a large number of students from outside NCR, the Acting V-C said, “This is why we’re keeping it completely voluntary… We will try to accommodate as many as possible but it will not be possible to accommodate all in hostels. The hostels will have to follow SOPs like one student per room. There will be 3-seater rooms where only one student will be staying. So capacity will be even less than usual.”