NEW DELHI: The HRD Ministry has asked universities to study how India handled the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918 and what measures were taken to boost the economy.
The ministry has also advised the universities to set up research teams and study the levels of awareness of COVID-19 in villages near their campuses.
"The HRD minister has desired that universities should study how India handled the 1918 pandemic (H1N1 Virus) and what measures were taken to boost the economy after the pandemic," a senior ministry official said in a communication to the universities.
"It has also been desired that universities and institutions in India should study 5-6 villages adjoining or adopted by them regarding best works done in response to COVID-19.
The study can be around what the awareness levels in the village are and how they withstood various challenges posed by COVID-19," the official added.
The HRD Ministry has been encouraging academic institutions to make research contributions to aid the fight against the deadly coronavirus.
According to the Union Health Ministry, the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 779 in the country on Saturday and the number of cases stood at 24,942, registering an increase of 56 fatalities and 1,490 cases since Friday evening.
The 56 deaths were the maximum reported in the country in a span of 24 hours, the ministry said.
The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 18,953, while 5,209 people have been cured and discharged, and one patient has migrated, it added.