Kolkata: An association of teachers of Jadavpur University on Monday wrote to West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu, urging him to take immediate steps to vaccinate students and researchers to reopen the institute.

In a letter to Basu, Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) has said in the first phase, final year students can be allowed to attend physical classes in separate batches after being administered Covid-19 vaccine jabs.

It also requested the minister to allow resumption of research activities in the varsity.

“We demand immediate COVID-19 vaccination for research scholars and students as a preparatory step for reopening the campus,” JUTA general secretary Partha Pratim Roy said.

Demanding commencement of physical classes for students whose studies have been suffered for almost 18 months, the teachers’ body also urged the minister to allow on-campus inoculation camps for those who have not received the vaccine.

Roy said online teaching cannot be alternative to physical classes, and laboratory-based subjects cannot be taught through virtual mode.

“You might be aware that instruments are lying idle at our university’s laboratories for a long time. Many are no longer functioning properly. If these high-value instruments are not used, it leads to a loss of lakhs of rupees, which is a sheer wastage of public money,” the letter further read.

Meanwhile, a section of JU students, owing allegiance to SFI and other unions, on Monday held a demonstration in front of the administrative building of the varsity, demanding reopening the campus and shouted slogans against the authorities.

Meanwhile, Presidency University Students’ Union also submitted a memorandum to the authorities and demanded on-campus vaccination for free.

Noting that inoculation of students will facilitate resumption of activities on the campus, the SFI-controlled students’ body said, “It has been 539 days since closing of our campus due to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Alleging that the university authorities “have not made efforts to reopen the institute” even though the second wave of COVID-19 has subsided, student union president Mimosa Ghorai said the administration must form a committee to discuss and take decisions on restarting of on-campus activities.

The union also urged the authorities to provide access to library services, as students are facing problems without the facility.

The SFI also organised a demonstration in front of the main gate of Presidency University to press for its demands.

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