Members of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) assembled outside the vice-chancellor’s office on Monday and demanded that students of social sciences also be allowed to return to the campus
The university administration maintained that the students will be called back in phases as, despite utmost precautions, there are 39 active Covid-19 cases on the campus.
“We demand that the social sciences’ students be also allowed back on the campus so that they can continue with their research work and submit their thesis on time,” JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh said. In a statement, the university said that JNU has already lost five employees to Covid-19. Currently, there are 39 active cases on the campus.
“It is disturbing that despite the best efforts some Covid-19 cases have also been reported from the university. Keeping the health security of students, faculty, officers, non-teaching staff and other campus residents in mind, the administration has adopted a policy of re-opening the campus in a phased manner. “Decisions are taken as per the periodic government guidelines and recommendations of a task force,” the statement said. The JNU campus was closed in March in view of the pandemic. The phased reopening of the campus began on 2 November.
JNU allowed only PhD science students from the PWD category to return to the campus from 21 December. Earlier, the administration had allowed science students from other categories who require access to laboratories to return. The students returning to the campus have to mandatorily self-quarantine themselves for seven days. The university has said the central library, all canteens and dhabas will remain closed due to the pandemic.
According to university guidelines, Aarogya Setu mobile application must be installed by all employees and students to enable early identification of potential risk of infection. The guidelines also recommend conducting meetings online, opening doors and windows during office hours, avoiding air conditioning, social gatherings and mandatorily wearing masks.
“If any employee or student and their family members have tested positive or are under home isolation or under home quarantine, they will inform about the same with supporting documents immediately. “If it is found that anyone is violating the above directions and Covid-19 protocols, such violators shall be liable for disciplinary action,” the guidelines said.