SHIMLA -4 April, 2020-Governor Bandaru Dattatraya, today held a video-conference with the eight Vice-Chancellors of government and private Universities in the State and discussed online learning modules and use of information technology in dissemination of awareness messages besides ways to contribute to the measures taken at Government level in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The Vice-chancellors briefed the Governor on various initiatives taken by them in the wake of COVID-19. They expressed unanimity that there is no scope for laxity or complacency in fighting the invisible enemy. In this context, the Governor wholeheartedly endorsed the Prime Minister’s appeal to switch off lights in homes at 9 P.M. on Sunday and instead switch on their mobile flashlights, torches or lamps in an expression of people’s solidarity to fight against Coronavirus. He, however, cautioned people not to let their guard down and steadfastly adhere to the practice of social distancing.

The Governor asked the VC's to formulate the outline of students learning process, so that the curriculum could be completed. He pointed out that the University Grants Commission has also prepared several online study websites. Using this option, students can also study from home. He said that universities could provide study materials already available at their level through social networking sites, e-mail, video conference, Whatsapp so that students' learning process was not affected.

Shri Dattatraya focused on two important issues including social work through volunteer students and the second was social distancing. He directed on making a list of students,who could act as volunteers.

In battling the pandemic, our efforts so far have been in the right direction, and we are moving ahead with firm determination, he added. He suggested the Vice-Chancellors that they should pay more attention to the group classes and take special care of the students who were in the hostels. Their food and health should also be taken care of. He said that the university administration should keep regular phone conversations with the parents of these students to maintain their trust. He expressed satisfaction that universities were conducting online classes but, he stressed on maintaining contact with students and motivate them. He stressed on more online interaction and said that there should not be a gap between teachers and students. He also stressed on giving information and use of Arogya Setu Mobile App.

On the occasion, all vice-chancellors briefed about initiatives taken by them and also gave some valuable suggestion. Students of National Service Scheme and National Cadet Corps of almost all universities are doing volunteer work. The university calendar has been revised and online teaching has been enhanced. Students are being given learning material and are reviewed online.

Rakesh Kanwar, Secretary to Governor conducted the conference.

Dr. Parminder Kaushal, VC, Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan, Prof. A.K. Sarial, VC, CSK HP Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Palampur, Dr. Ramesh Kumar Chaudhary, VC A.P.Goyal University, Shimla, Dr. H.S. Dhaliwal, VC, Eternal University, Badu Sahib, Sirmour, Registrar, Abhilashi University, Mandi, Dr. Virender Kanwar, VC, Chitkara University, Dr. K.S. Verma, VC, Career Point University, Hamirpur, Prof. T.R. Bhardwaj, VC, Baddi University participated in the conference.