In a circular sent to higher education regulators, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has directed that teachers, researchers, non-teaching staff should be permitted and advised to work from home till July 31. Citing the Ministry of Home Affairs’ unlock 2 guidelines, the education ministry has also directed the University Grants Commission or UGC, All India Council for Technical Education or AICTE, National Testing Agency or NTA and all other autonomous organisations functioning under the Department of Higher Education that colleges and educational institutions will remain closed till July 31.
The circular has also said that online or distance learning “shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged”.
The ministry has also asked the Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories to consider similar guidelines for the higher educational institutions under their control.
“The Faculty members/ Teachers/ Researchers should utilize this period for various academic activities,” the circular which was sent on June 30 said.
The period will be counted as being on duty for all teachers or researchers and non-teaching staff including ad-hoc and contract teachers whose contracts are valid at least up-to July 31.
“Aarogya Setu App enables easy identification of potential risk of infection and, therefore, it may be ensured that Aarogya Setup App is installed by the students, faculty and employees to fight against COVID-19,” the circular said.
Last week, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ had asked the UGC to revisit the guidelines issued earlier for intermediate and terminal semester examination, and the academic calendar in view of the increasing COVID-19 cases in the country.