Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant on Monday said classroom teaching in colleges may not start from November 1, when the academic year is scheduled to begin.
Speaking to PTI, Samant said a decision on physical classes will be taken as per the situation prevailing at that time, with district collectors, who are also the head of respective disaster management committees, being consulted.
"I have said the academic year will begin from November 1. I have not said physical classes will begin from that day. Right now, taking that risk (of starting offline classes) is a big challenge," the minister said.
"We have to consider the fact that not all eligible beneficiaries have been administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while only 17-18 per cent have got the second dose. If all students had received both doses, we could have thought of starting physical classes," Samant said.
He also said the state government would file FIRs against firms if they discriminate between the students who have passed during COVID-19 pandemic and others while providing jobs.
"It is not their (students') mistake that they did not have practicals (due to the pandemic). If any industry refuses employment to such students, then FIRs will be filed," he said.
Speaking on the upcoming Chipi Airport in Sindhudurg, Samant said the facility would be inaugurated by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on November 9, adding that credit for it should be given to former Union minister Suresh Prabhu.
He also said the induction of Narayan Rane, who holds considerable sway in the Konkan region, in the Narendra Modi government may have boosted the morale of BJP workers but it had not demoralised Shiv Sainiks in the area.