Odisha science, tech students allowed to work in labs

Bhubaneswar: Laboratories for research scholars, Master of Philosophy and Post Graduate students in science and technology streams permitted to open.
: Days after medical colleges across Odisha resumed academic sessions, the State government on Friday allowed higher education institutions to open their laboratories.

Indicating at the gradual reopening of educational institutes, the government gave permission for the opening of laboratories for research scholars, Master of Philosophy students and Post Graduate students in science and technology streams.

All the institutions were, however, were directed to take appropriate precautions in the wake of prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

Since November 30, Odisha has been reporting less than 500 coronavirus positive cases per day — a significant improvement in the pandemic situation. After mid-July, daily reporting of COVID-19 cases had gone above 500 and it had once gone past 4500 mark. The State reported 377 positive cases and five deaths on Friday.

All government and private colleges opened their hostels for students from December 1. However, regular classes could not commence at most colleges due to low student attendance.

In the guidelines for the month of December, the office of the Special Relief Commissioner had made it clear that research scholars and post graduate students in the science stream outside containment zones could start laboratory and other experimental works.

It had authorised the Department of Higher Education to take an appropriate decision with regard to the date of reopening of colleges and other higher education institutions.

Moreover, the School and Mass Education Department was directed to take steps for the reopening of Class IX and Class XII in a graded manner in consultation with relevant stakeholders.

School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash had earlier said his department was also considering conducting an offline Matriculation examination in Odisha in line with the announcement by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which has said that the 2021 Board examinations would be held only in the offline written mode.