Mumbai/ New Delhi:
Amid spike in coronavirus cases across the country, the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay has become the first major institute to scrap all face-to-face lectures for the rest of the year “so that there is no compromise on the safety and well-being of the students”. In a Facebook Post last night, IIT Bombay Director Professor Subhasis Chaudhuri said the decision was made “after a long deliberation”.
“For IIT Bombay, students are the first priority. We took the first step in India in concretely deciding how we must bring a closure to the current semester to help our students,” Professor Subhasis Chaudhuri wrote in the post.
“But given the current condition of the pandemic, how do we plan for the next semester for our students? Again, after a long deliberation in the Senate, we have decided today that the next semester will be run purely in the online mode so that there is no compromise on the safety and well-being of the students,” he further said.
The semester for undergraduate and post-graduate courses is scheduled to begin in July. The post also had an appeal for donation for students “from economically less privileged families”.
“A large section of our students come from economically less privileged families and would require a helping hand to equip them with the IT hardware (i.e. laptops and broadband connectivity ) to take these online classes,” the post read.
“We have estimated that we need about Rs 5 crores to help those needy students. We look forward to your overwhelming support to help these bright young minds to continue their learning without any further hindrances or delays,” Mr Chaudhuri wrote, making an appeal for donations.
Across India, the coronavirus tally has crossed 4.56 lakh cases. With 1.39 lakh cases, Maharashtra is the worst-hit and Mumbai alone has logged nearly 70,000 cases so far.
Earlier this week, sources in the Education Ministry told NDTV that pending board examinations and competitive tests for engineering and medical colleges are unlikely to be held in July. The Supreme Court will hear the matter today.