SRINAGAR, July 1: Ministry of Home Affairs has directed that all educational institutions shall remain closed across India till July 31.
The MHA has issued directives at a time when various universities in Kashmir including University of Kashmir have directed employees to attend duties amid COVID-19 lockdown.
“MHA has issued guidelines, whereby it has been directed that colleges and educational institutions will remain closed till 31.07.2020. It has been further stated that online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged,” the MHA said in its order issued on June 30, a copy of which lies with news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).
“In order to ensure the safety of the faculty members/ teachers/ researchers/ non-teaching staff of higher educational institutions should be permitted and advised to work from home till 31.07.2020,” it reads.
The MHA said the period shall be counted as being on duty for all staff members including Ad-hoc and contract teachers, whose contracts are valid at least up-to 31.07.2020.
At the same time, staff members in various varsities, colleges in Kashmir have been directed to attend their duties.
The University of Kashmir has issued a notification directing all the Deans, Heads, Directors, Coordinators, Officers of School, Examination wing to ensure 100% attendance of the staff. Besides, research scholars have also been asked to report to the university and complete their assignments.
“We fail to understand when all educational institutions are closed then why are we being forced to come to university which will pose a serious threat to all employees,” an assistant professor of University of Kashmir told KINS.
Around 3000 teaching and non-teaching employees are working on Kashmir University’s main campus. Further, around 1000 research scholars are currently enrolled in the varsity.
Registrar University of Kashmir, Professor Nisar Ahmad Mir said they have to follow directives of the J & K government.
“If MHA has issued any directives, J&K government will also issue its guidelines and we will follow them accordingly,” Mir told KINS.
At least four employees of Kashmir University have tested positive for coronavirus so far.
An official of Central University Kashmir said they are also being forced to attend duties. “Traffic is off the roads and coronavirus cases are on the rise. Despite that we are being asked to attend duties,” an official of CUK said.
A senior official of CUK however said they will follow MHA directives.(KINS)