JAIPUR: Kota, the hub of engineering and medical entrance coaching institutes, is regaining momentum after a gap of 10 months after it was shut due to the Corona crisis.
Big hoardings with pictures of IIT entrance toppers from various educational institutes at various places of the city could be seen to lure aspirants and their parents.
Nearly 32,000 students have already reached Kota after the Gehlot government allowed schools, colleges and coaching centres to reopen from January 18 taking into account the declining number of Covid-19 cases in the state.
A large number of students are arriving every day in Kota to study at the top 10 coaching institutes that dot the city’s landscape. Kota has about 50 other institutes and the city has around 25,000 paying guest (PG) facilities and 3,000 hostels and around 3,000 messes to cater to all needs of the nearly two lakh students from across the country.
To ensure the safety of all students, the coaching city has turned into a caring city. Ultra-violet hand sanitisers, Aarogya Setu-like apps to monitor student’s health, social distancing norms with isolated seating arrangements and plush studio apartments are some of the measures the coaching institutes have set up.
However, the number of Corona cases in Kota remains a big worry. Kota has the second-highest number of active Covid cases in Rajasthan, and on Monday it reported 41 fresh cases -- the highest in the state. Among the 41 new cases are 14 coaching students. Of the 33 new cases found in Kota on Tuesday, 18 were coaching students, and on Wednesday, Kota reported 34 cases.
The CMHO of Kota, Dr B S Tanwar said according to the doctor, 18 students were asymptomatic and found positive when 2,500 samples were taken from coaching institutes.
The Kota district administration has instructed all coaching institutes and hostel authorities to strictly follow the standard operating protocols that have been issued to them. The protocols were decided after consulting heads of institutes and hostels who raised the issue of incurring losses and urged the state authorities to allow them to open up coaching centres.
The detailed SOPs have been pasted on the walls of all coaching centres, who in turn, have informed the students about the guidelines they need to follow such as ‘no mask, no entry’ rule. All coaching centres, hostels and messes have also been told to abide by the Covid-19 protocols set by the central and state governments.