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Law school Covid responses: NLUs TN, Hyd, Jodhpur, Patiala, Bgl, Delhi, JGLS suspend classes • HNLU evacuates campus • NLUO takes measures

While some states have issued guidelines on what universities should do, most measures are currently more ad hoc

If you have any updates about your law school’s response to the novel coronavirus, please share these in the comments.

16 March 19:15: Tamil Nadu National Law University (TNNLU) has also agreed to close, after receiving notification from the state government. Vice chancellor (VC) Prof VS Elizabeth confirmed that from tomorrow there would be no classes. The university was currently working out whether to allow students to remain on campus, she said.

16 March 11:18: Nalsar Hyderabad passed an order on Saturday (14th) to suspend classes and begin a 48-hour evacuation of the campus of students who are Indian nationals. The evacuation is set to be completed by midnight, according to student sources. It is hoped that classes will be held online.

14 March 13:47: NLU Jodhpur VC Prof Poonam Saxena confirmed: “The state directives to close all educational institutions has been issued today. Classes have therefore been suspended till 31st of this month.”

13 March 22:08: RGNUL Patiala has also announced that there will be no classes from tomorrow:

In view of the Notification number Dte Edn Dept/PA/Sp- 2020 dated 13th March 2020 issued by Department of Higher Education (Colleges) Government of Punjab, as a precautionary measure to control the

spread of corona virus (Covid-19), the teaching and examination work in RGNUL, Punjab shall remain suspended with effect from 14th March 2020 to 31st March 2020.

The students are advised to vacate hostels.

However, as per the notification referred to above, teaching and non-teaching staff shall remain in the office during the office hours.


13 March 20:28: NLSIU Bangalore has suspended classes until 28 March 2020, we have confirmed according to authoritative sources.

13 March, 14:14: Himachal Pradesh National Law University (HPNLU) Shimla has extended its vacations that were due to end on 14 March, until 21 March 2020.

13 March, 12:08: NLU Odisha vice chancellor Prof Srikrishna Deva Rao, “as an abundant public health precautionary measure”, has announced several measures but would not be stopping classes:

NLU Odisha measures
NLU Odisha measures

13 March, 12:02: NLU Delhi has stopped classes, following the Delhi government’s order:

NLU Delhi closes
NLU Delhi closes

13 March, 11:07: JGLS Sonepat, part of Jindal Global University (JGU) has suspended classes, with the following notification:

After detailed consultations with the Deans of all the Schools of JGU and the Joint Student Council, it has been decided to suspend classes with effect from Saturday 14th March 2020 till Sunday, 29th March 2020 as a precautionary measure against Corona Virus (COVID19). Today’s classes will be held as per schedule.

We resume classes on Monday, 30th March 2020. Please note that the University remains open during this period.

I request you to follow all other health and safety related precautions that have issued in the form of advisories by JGU in the last few weeks.

We will be closely monitoring the situation and will keep you updated of any further developments.

Update 13 March, 10:00: As of today, most HNLU students have evacuated, with around 40 left on campus and due to evacuate by this evening.

HNLU notice suspending classes till 18 March
HNLU notice suspending classes till 18 March

Original story 12 March, 12:56: HNLU Raipur has suspended classes for a week, until 18 March, and had asked all students to leave campus by this evening, to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which has been rapidly taking up residence in most countries.

The university would have provided buses to students all day today, however, it is understood that the Student Bar Association (SBA) intervened against the evacuation order, liaising with the vice chancellor (VC) Prof VC Vivekanandan.

The SBA said that the administration’s notice “does not represent a final decision on all issues surrounding the campus shutdown”, though it agreed that classes were suspended and measures should be taken in self-isolating.

Students intervene against evacuation notice in abeyance
Students intervene against evacuation notice in abeyance

Shortly ahead of the evacuation notice, dated yesterday, HNLU had sent out a notice (see below) that it had stocked up on soap and hand sanitisers, while equipping hostel managers with face masks (though not to students unless they showed signs of any “severe cough, cold and fever”).

Universities - as are any crowded places, such as courts or law firm offices - are naturally environments conducive to the spread of any infectious illnesses, not just the more rapidly-spreading such as COVID-19.

That said, it is understandable that the students are reticent about packing up their bags and cramming into a bus, which might be even more crowded than a mess hall at dinner rush hour.

On top of that, minimising cross-country travel may also protect the spreading of any potential infection to far-flung family members and the elderly, who have been among the more at-risk group in COVID-19 cases.

We have reached out to HNLU VC Vivekanandan for further comment.

One national law university VC commented that for the time being they had not yet taken measures as HNLU had: “We’re avoiding unnecessary meetings but continuing classes. We’ve intensified cleaning and disinfection routines cross campus.”

Update 15:03: Another NLU VC commented: “I think quarantine should have been considered as an option rather than sending them to the entire country.” Correction: An earlier published version of this quote was inaccurate, due to an unintended technical error.

Update 18:27: The NLSIU Bangalore has issued a notification to students today, announcing the closing of the library to “outsiders”:

This is to inform you that, as per the suggestions of Honorable Vice Chancellor, Library access is suspended for outside users, till 31st March 2020 due to chances of spreading COVID 19. Hence, you are informed not to allow outsiders for library access.

Swine flu had resulted in the shut down (but not evacuation) of NLU Jodhpur in 2015, and Nalsar Hyderabad in 2015 and as recently as 2019, the latter case resulting in only one day of cancelled classes.

Update 13:07: According to the New Indian Express, one HNLU student said: “The situation in the campus apparently seems panic-stricken. We would appeal the administration to give us some more time, though the Chhattisgarh is relatively safe from the anticipated risk of coronavirus. The students of HNLU are from across the country and some belong to areas where there are suspected and even confirmed cases of coronavirus. So the administration should also consider its decision on closing down of the university.”

Evacuations of campuses had been reserved at Indian law schools primarily for violence-related reasons: in 2018 at KIIT Bhubaneswar after riots between engineering and law students, and in 2016, at JGLS Sonepat, over riots by the Jat community in the state.

Step 1, hand washing, doesn
Step 1, hand washing, doesn

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