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VTU to continue with in-person classes amid student opposition

January 7, 2022

Karnataka government flip flops

-Reshma Ravishanker

In what has invoked displeasure and wrath of students, the Karnataka government has issued a revised order allowing the continuation of in-person classes in those colleges affiliated with the Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology (VTU). 

The revised order issued on January 6 has it that these colleges can continue functioning as usual while strictly adhering to the Covid appropriate behaviour. 
 
The decision to make a sudden change in the previous order (following a meeting presided by the chief minister with the Technical Advisory Committee to close all schools and degree colleges except for 10-12) however did not seem to go well with a large section of students. 
 
Chaos prevailed at colleges with hostel facilities as several students had reserved flight and train tickets to travel back to hometowns as classes were to be held online only.
 
 “We were informed at 1.30 pm that classes will he held online only. By 3.50, there was a sudden change. Students were caught unaware. The cancellation amount involved for flight tickets will be huge. Moreover, they did not even think of the risks involved having a class full of students,” said Meghana, a student from one of the VTU affiliated colleges. 
 
Meanwhile, Avnith Kateel, state general secretary, National Students Union of India questioned the motive and said, “Why the college management is playing with the life of students . Once they say it’s Online Again in some hour they say the old notification is revoked. Will be continuing with the offline class? Do u think Students are Roberts ?” (SIC)
 
Meanwhile, outstation students who rely on hostel stay while in college also questioned the government’s move and said that there were uncertainties, long hours of risky bus journeys and unnecessary travel involved because of this flip flop. “This is how the department works. I have travelled 150 kilometres twice back and forth from home to hostel within the last two days because of this and they don’t care,” said Sagar, another student. 
 
Meanwhile, some students also tagged the higher education minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan and revenue minister R Ashoka to come to their aid and revoke the decision to reopen colleges even as the third wave of the pandemic is impending. 
 
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