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The Maharashtra government will take a decision by January 20 about reopening colleges with 50 per cent capacity, the state higher and technical education minister, Uday Samant said on Saturday. He made the statement during a meeting with college principals and other stakeholders.

"My ministry is mulling over reopening colleges with 50 per cent capacity as a first step. I will discuss the issue with the chief minister and other stakeholders so that an official announcement can be made by January 20," Samant said.

The ministry has initiated a review of the current status of colleges, availability of students, non-teaching staff and hostels, he said.

The minister also assured of initiating the recruitment procedure for several vacant posts of teaching staff at state-run and state-aided colleges.

Schools and colleges have remained shut since March, 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some schools and junior colleges were reopened for Classes 9 to 12 in parts of the state earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Samant said a 12-member committee has been set up under the chairmanship of noted musician Hridaynath Mangeshkar to draft a proposal for an international-standard music college in Mumbai.

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