Coronavirus impact: No face-to-face classes at IIT-Bombay in 2020
With teaching methods being redrawn in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, IIT-Bombay has become the first major institute in the country to scrap face-to-face classes for this year. Director Subhasis Chaudhuri said on Wednesday the decision was taken after "long deliberation". This is for the first time in the college's glorious history that a fresh semester will start without new students on the campus.
"Given the current condition of the pandemic, how do we plan for the next semester for our students?" Chaudhuri asked in his Facebook post, following it up with the announcement that the institute is shifting to online mode, for now. He asserted students are the first priority of the institute, and hence they took the lead in deciding about the next semester.
"To ensure that our students begin the academic year without further delay, we are planning on extensive online classes details of which will be informed to all students in due course of time," he wrote in the post, uploaded late last night.
Thereafter, Chaudhuri made an appeal concerning the under-privileged students, saying many from meager households study at the institute. Most of them don't have requisite equipment like laptops, broadband connectivity, he added. "We look forward to your overwhelming support to help these bright young minds to continue their learning without any further hindrances or delays," the post read. He requested people to donate generously.
"We have estimated that we need about Rs. 5 crore to help those needy students. Our alumni have committed a good amount of support, but that is not enough for all these needy students and I solicit through this message your donations," he added.
Notably, heads of various departments have written to students asking if they have a laptop and an internet connection. This model could also be replicated by other IITs. Earlier this month, in an e-mail to students, IIT-Madras Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi hinted at online classes for this semester. He said they aren't sure how many students would be able to commute in the current scenario.
If and when the institute opens, Ph.D. students will be the first ones to return, he added. "Continuing students who are able to return to campus at some point during the next semester can continue with the online classes once they are here, or maybe we can conduct some classes f2f (face to face) along with live-streaming/recording for online students," the email read.