Colleges and universities across Maharashtra resumed physical classes on Wednesday, after being closed for over one-and-a-half years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.As per the state government’s directive, only fully vaccinated students are being allowed to attend the classroom sessions. For those who cannot attend the physical classes in the wake of the fully vaccinated criteria, most colleges have made the provision of broadcasting live lectures or continuing with the online lectures facility.Last week, Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant said all the colleges and universities in the state can conduct physical classes from October 20 and students must be fully vaccinated in order to attend the classroom sessions.The decision comes in the wake of schools across the state resuming physical sessions for classes 5 to 12 on October 4 after being shut for more than one-and-a-half years due to the pandemic. The state government has allowed all non-agricultural colleges, state-run universities, deemed universities, self-financed universities and colleges affiliated to them to hold physical classes with effect from Wednesday. Minister Samant last week said every university should issue the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to the colleges affiliated to it. Acting on the government’s directive, the Mumbai University on Sunday issued SOPs for all colleges affiliated to it. As per its SOPs, the classrooms can have only 50% students of the total capacity. Also, colleges should give the students an option for online or offline sessions.The institutes should keep a record of the COVID-19 vaccination certificates of every student and staff attending the physical sessions, according to the Mumbai University’s SOPs. On Tuesday, Maharashtra reported 1,638 new coronavirus cases and 49 fatalities, taking the tally of infections to 65,94,820 and the toll to 1,39,865, while 2,791 patients recovered, a health department official earlier said.The total number of recoveries in Maharashtra rose to 64,24,547, leaving the state with 26,805 active cases, the official said. Maharashtra’s COVID-19 recovery rate stood at 97.42%, while the fatality rate was 2.12%.