Members of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) gathered in front of the rector’s office on Monday and demanded that social science students be allowed to return to campus as well.
The university administration maintained that students will be called back in phases as despite the greatest precautions, there are 39 active cases of COVID-19 on campus.
“We demand that social studies students also be allowed to return to campus so that they can continue their research work and submit their thesis on time,” said JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh.
In a statement, the university said that JNU has already lost five employees to COVID-19. Currently, there are 39 active cases on campus.
“It is concerning that despite best efforts, some COVID-19 cases have also been reported from the university. With the health safety of students, faculty, staff, non-teaching staff and other campus residents in mind, the administration has adopted a policy of reopening the campus in stages.
“Decisions are made in accordance with periodic government guidelines and the recommendations of a working group,” the statement said.
The JNU campus was closed in March due to the pandemic. The gradual reopening of the campus began on November 2.
JNU allowed only PWD science Ph.D. students to return to campus effective December 21. Previously, the administration had allowed science students from other categories who require access to labs to return.
Returning students to campus are required to self-quarantine for seven days.
The university has said that the central library, all dining rooms and dhabas will remain closed due to the pandemic.
In accordance with university guidelines, all employees and students must install the Aarogya Setu mobile app to allow early identification of the potential risk of infection.
The guidelines also recommend holding online meetings, opening doors and windows during office hours, avoiding air conditioning, social gatherings, and mandatory use of masks.
“If any employee or student and their family members tested positive or are in home isolation or home quarantine, they will report the same with the supporting documents immediately.
“If someone is found to be violating the above instructions and COVID-19 protocols, those violators will be held liable for disciplinary action,” the guidelines said.