Chandigarh, September 19: The Punjab government on Saturday allowed the opening of higher education institutions from September 21 for PhD scholars and postgraduate students pursuing technical and professional courses requiring experimental work.

However, schools, colleges and coaching centres will remain closed in the states. Also Read | India-China Tensions: VHP Wants Indian Manufacturers to Replace Chinese Imports.

The guidelines were issued in compliance with the directives of the current phase of the coronavirus lockdown issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

According to detailed guidelines issued by Special Chief Secretary (Home) Satish Chandra, open air theatres will be allowed to function with strict adherence to social distancing norms. Also Read | Arrested Scribe Rajeev Sharma Was Passing Information About India's Border Strategy to Chinese Intelligence: Delhi Police.

Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres and similar places will remain closed. As per the orders, online distance learning will be permitted and encouraged but schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed for students and regular classes.

Chandra, in an official statement, said 50 per cent of the teaching and non-teaching staff will be allowed to attend schools at a time for online teaching/tele counseling and related work in areas outside the containment zones, only as per the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued on September 8 by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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