Maharashtra Govt Approaches Railways to Allow College Students on Local Trains

Maharashtra Govt Approaches Railways to Allow College Students on Local Trains

The Maharashtra State Government has said that it will get in touch with railway authorities to ascertain if college students will be allowed to travel on local trains starting Monday on Feb 15 which is when local administrations officially reopen campuses for in-person learning. 

The State Higher and Technical Education Minister, Uday Samant had previously said that colleges across Maharashtra will be allowed to reopen on Feb 15 with up to 50 per cent attendance in order to maintain social distancing. 

However, railway timings for the general public don’t align with college hours, which is why the government said that it will approach the railways for more clarification on the matter. Trains are currently allowed for the general public prior to 6 AM, and between noon to 4 PM, and after 9 PM. 

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“We had a discussion with the chief secretary on this issue. Even chief minister Uddhav Thackeray asked the chief secretary to submit the college schedule to the railways to consider the permission. The state will do whatever is needed, to ensure that college students can travel by local trains,” Samant said.

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The State Technical Education Minister had said that universities across the state could see their syllabus slashed by 10 to 15 per cent this academic year given the fact that a lot of time has been lost. “Few universities have already recommended reducing the syllabus and the proposal has been sent to the UGC for a final nod,” he said.

Speaking on the hostel accommodation of students, Samant said that only one student should be allowed to stay in a room in line with the UGC guidelines. 

Although colleges in Maharashtra have been permitted to reopen next week, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to reopen its schools within Mumbai due to concerns around the spread of the coronavirus. Meanwhile, schools in other regions of the state have been allowed to open with 50 per cent attendance.

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