Metro Trains are to resume operations in India from September 7 and Campuses are to be partially opened from September 21. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday allowed operation of Metro Trains from September 7 and allowed all kind of public gathering up to 100 persons from September 21 with strict social distancing norms. Though the schools and colleges will be shut up to September 30, the Centre has allowed the 50% teachers and non-teaching staff to come to institutions from September 21 for the conduct of online and tele-counselling. The MHA’s new Unlockdown-4 guidelines said that students from 9th standard can visit the campuses with the consent of parents from September 21 to meet the teachers.
The guidelines said that Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MOHUA) and Ministry of Railways (MOR) which mainly operates Metro trains in the cities will formulate procedures of starting of operations of Metro and passenger movement. The Metro train operation will be starting only in a graded manner controlling the intake of passengers inside the train as well as in entry to the platforms. The CISF will be also part of these procedures, especially in handling the passenger movements. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)’s new guidelines said that open-air theatres will be allowed to start from September 21. However, Cinema Hall and Swimming Pools are not allowed until September 30.
After extensive consultation with States and UTs, it has been decided that schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to remain closed for students and regular class activity up to September 30, 2020.
“Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from September 7, 2020, in a graded manner, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs/ Ministry of Railways, in consultation with MHA. In this regard, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by MOHUA.
“Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, with effect from September 21, 2020. However, such limited gatherings can be held with the mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer,” said the MHA’s new guidelines with effect from September 1.
Union Home Ministry said that extensive discussions happened with States on the opening of schools and colleges. Though classes will be not conducted till September 30, partial activities will start from September 21. The Centre has asked the States to develop opening – up procedures on this regard.
“After extensive consultation with States and UTs, it has been decided that schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to remain closed for students and regular class activity up to September 30, 2020.” Online/ distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged. However, the following will be permitted, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, with effect from September 21, 2020, for which, SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW):
- States/ UTs may permit up to 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the schools at a time for online teaching/ tele-counselling and related work.
- Students of classes 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, on a voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers.
This will be subject to the written consent of their parents/ guardians,” said the MHA Guidelines.
The MHA guidelines said that skill development centres and research and lab work in higher education centres will be opened up in a phased manner with concerned Ministries. “Higher Education Institutions only for research scholars (PhD) and post-graduate students of technical and professional programmes requiring laboratory/ experimental works. These will be permitted by the Department of Higher Education (DHE) in consultation with MHA, based on the assessment of the situation, and keeping in view incidence of COVID-19 in the States/ UTs.,” said the Guidelines.
International air travel opening up in a full-fledged manner will be decided later. The MHA also directed the States not to impose extra rules except in Containment Zones. MHA reiterated to the States not to make any hurdles in inter-state border traffic. Administration in Containment Zones is left to local authorities.
“Vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes,” reiterated the MHA.
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