The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has directed that teachers, researchers, non-teaching staff to work from home till July 31, in a circular sent to higher education regulators. Citing the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Unlock 2 guidelines, the education ministry has also directed the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), National Testing Agency (NTA) and all other autonomous organisations functioning under the Department of Higher Education that colleges and educational institutions will remain closed till July 31.
Apart from the work from home for teachers, the circular further added that online or distant learning “shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged”. The ministry also asked the Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories to consider similar guidelines for the higher educational institutions as well. The circular sent on June 30 said, “The Faculty members/ Teachers/ Researchers should utilise this period for various academic activities.”
The period will be counted as being on duty for all teachers or researchers and non-teaching staff including ad-hoc and contract teachers whose contracts are valid upto July 31 at least.
The circular also stated that the “Aarogya Setu App enables easy identification of potential risk of infection and, therefore, it may be ensured that Aarogya Setup App is installed by the students, faculty and employees to fight against Covid-19.”
Earlier, the HRD Ministry said it requires an amount of Rs 2,306.4 crore for the development of online courses/ programmes over five years. During its presentation to the 15th finance commission on Monday, June 29, 2020, about the education sector, MHRD also presented a requirement of Rs 55,840 crore for providing ICT facilities to 3.10 lakh government schools. The government also proposed providing digital devices to 40 percent higher education students in the next five years.
Source: NDTVNational, News