Saturday 4 April 2020

Union Minister emphasizes on continuing education of students through SWAYAM and other digital - Union H R D Minister interacts through video conference with Vice Chancellors of Central Universities across the country in backdrop of spread of COVID-19

Union Minister emphasizes on continuing education of students through SWAYAM and other digital - Union H R D Minister interacts through video conference with Vice Chancellors of Central Universities across the country in backdrop of spread of COVID-19

Union  Human  Resource  Development  Minister  Shri  Ramesh  Pokhriyal  'Nishank'  interacted  with  the Vice  Chancellors  of  all  the  Central  Universities  of  the  country  todayin  the  backdrop  of  spread  of COVID-19 . Following points were discussed during the meeting.

1.  Measures  to  be  taken  regarding  health  of  students  residing  in  hostels  and  academic  and  nonacademic staff of the university.

2. Proper adherence to social distancing and isolation instructions in the university.

3. Provision for testing of suspected cases of COVID-19 in the University.

4. Arrangements made to continue the education of students

5. Management to deal with mental health challenges of students.

6.  Resolve  the  salary  related  problems  of  all  employees  (permanent,  temporary  and  daily  wage earners).

7. Initiatives related to COVID-19 to be informed  through social media.

8. Research related to COVID-19 may be carried out.

During  the  discussion,  all  the  universities  assured  that  in  the  hour  of  crisis,    they    are  prepared  to meet  the  challenges.  Proper  care  is  being  taken  for  the  food  and  mental  health  of  the  students  who continue  to  reside  in  the  universities  .  Banaras  Hindu  University  and  Aligarh    Muslim  university informed  that  they  have  created  facility  of  40-bed  isolation  rooms.  Most  of  the  universities  continue to run courses digitally so that academic session is not delayed.

The  Union  Human  Resource  Development  Minister  has  directed  all  the  Vice  Chancellors  to  motivate their  faculty  and  students  to  use  SWAYAM  and  SWAYAM  PRABHA  in  mission  mode  and  also through  other  online  digital  mediums  to  Continue  the  academic  program.    Shri  Pokhriyal  also informed  that  to  promote  online  education  and  give  suggestions  regarding  online  examination  a committee under the chairmanship of Prof. Nageshwar Rao, VC, IGNOU has been constituted.

The  decision  to  form  an  Academic  Calendar  Committee    under  the  leadership  of  U.G.C  Chairman was  also  taken  by  the  Minister  .  The  Committee  will  suggest  measures  to  deal  with  the  issue  of delay in the academic session.

To  ensure  mental  well-being  of  the  students,  the  Union  Minister  announced  the  formation  of  a committee  under  the  chairmanship  of  a  Joint  Secretary  of  the  Ministry.  The  Committee  will  take care of  the mental well being of the students of the school as well  as of colleges and universities.

Union  Minister  directed  the  Vice  Chancellors  of  Aligarh  Muslim  University  and  B.H.U  that  there should  be  no  shortage  of  any  kind  in  the  hospitals  run  by  them.  Some  universities  have  stated  that they  have  done  some  research  to  fight  COVID-19  which  will  reach  the  people  after  approval  by authorized  agencies.    The  Union  Human  Resource  Development  Minister  requested  that  such research to be carried out at a fast pace. He assured all assistance to such research.

The  Vice  Chancellors  of  all  universities  told  that  salary  allowance  is  being  given  on  time  for permanent,  temporary  and  daily  wage  earners  and  at  this  time  a  provision  has  been  made  to  pay salaries even on the days of their absence.

The  Union  Minister  requested  all  the  Vice  Chancellors  to  contribute  to  the  PM  CARES  Fund.    At  the same  time,  on  the  call  of  the  Prime  Minister,  on  5  April  2020,  at  9  pm,  they  should  switch  off  the lights  of  the  houses  for  9  minutes  and    to  light  a  lamp,  candle  or  mobile  flashlight    to  express solidarity.

Apart  from  this,  Shri  Nishank  asked  everyone  to  make  full  use  of  the  ArogyaSetu  app  developed  by the  Government  of  India  and  emphasized  to  follow  the  guidelines  issued  by  the  Ministry  of  AYUSH from time to time to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Finally, the Union Minister instructed all the Vice Chancellors to take steps on the following points:

(i) Efforts to increase Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) through online education.

(ii) Reading - Efforts to raise the level of reading quality and standards.

(iii) Appropriate measures to maintain discipline in university campus.

(iv) Reasonable strategy to develop Central UniversitIies into centers of knowledge and excellence.

(v)  Advance  planning  of  academic  calendar  should  be  done  for  the  smooth  functioning  after  the restoration of normalcy.



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