Karnataka to continue offline classes, exams at colleges amid second wave scare

The Karnataka government Tuesday decided to continue classes and to hold examinations as scheduled in colleges and universities in the state amid the possibility of a second wave of Covid-19 cases.

“Strict vigilance will be put in place to ensure strict adherence to SOPs while continuing the offline classes and examinations as per the timetable scheduled by the universities amid the possible outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic,” Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwathnarayan said.

He added that the decision would be applicable to all universities, colleges, polytechnic institutes, and all other educational institutions which come under the Department of Higher Education. Also in charge of the Higher Education portfolio, Ashwathnarayan explained that possible ways in which a second wave of the pandemic could impact academic activities were also discussed during the meeting. “Several matters with regard to conducting online and offline classes, higher semester exams, and lower semester exams were also discussed in detail,” he added.

At the same time, officials confirmed that hostels that operate under the aegis of the Department of Social Welfare and Backward Classes will continue functioning. “A request to the concerned Additional Chief Secretary will be submitted,” officials added.

Further, Ashwathnarayan, in a video statement requested students and other stakeholders of the system not to pay heed to rumours regarding government decisions, “Let me also humbly request our students to follow all Covid-19 norms,” he added.

Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar had earlier sought a meeting convened by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa in the wake of a few institutions like the Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) in Udupi reporting new coronavirus cases since last week.

Sudhakar had said on Monday that a decision will be taken regarding educational institutions after discussing with the CM. Meanwhile, with 72 more Covid-19 cases reported from the Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) on Monday, the cumulative caseload of the cluster rose to 371. Officials from the district administration said that testing of all students is expected to be completed in the next two days.

Other institutes in the state from which cases have been reported recently include Maharani Cluster University (Gandhinagar), Sambhram Academy of Management Studies (Bengaluru), Agragami College (Yelahanka, Bengaluru), and Manjushree Nursing College (Kadugondanagalli, Bengaluru). A paying guest facility and a girls hostel in the Karnataka capital have also been identified as containment zones by the local civic body the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.

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