The Bengal education department on Monday issued an advisory to vice-chancellors of all universities stating that hostels will remain closed until further orders.
A source in the department said institutions are being told not to bring students to the hostels even if they want to help them tide over the connectivity woes at home, coming in the way of attending online classes.
The institutions have switched to online classes entirely until January 15 and will be instructed thereafter.
Several residential institutions called some of the students to the campus ever since the pandemic had set in, to let them attend online classes from the WiFi-enabled hostels.
Among the state universities, Jadavpur University has called students from the districts to the hostels after the offline classes were allowed from November 16.
“We have not said that those residing in the hostels because of factors like encountering connectivity woes at home, digital divide, would have to be sent home straightaway. Students must not be called afresh. The institutions have to ensure the medical protocol for the foreign or other students who are unable to leave the campus due to distance or otherwise,” the source said.
A notification signed by education secretary Manish Jain was issued a day after the government announced that schools, colleges and universities would remain shut from Monday.
Swami Mahaprajnananda, the vice-principal of Vidyamandira, said that students who were called to the hostels for attending practical classes from November 16, have been sent to their homes.
“Only some foreign students and a handful of students encountering Internet constraints are present,” he said.
A JU official said: “Since online classes have been mandated, students have said that they will use the connectivity facility of the hostels to attend online classes”.