The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay will conduct the autumn semester online, even as the institute opens up its campus to students gradually.
Institute director Subhasis Chaudhuri said, “We are opening more and more gradually for PhD students, senior BTech and MTech students requiring lab access. However, the teaching will still be online and not physical until it is advised so by the appropriate health authorities.” The autumn semester for undergraduate or BTech students kicks off on July 26.
The institute shut down completely on March 28 last year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic with an early summer vacation announced on April 1. Then on June 25, the institute declared that the entire autumn semester will be conducted online in the interest of students’ safety. Since then, almost all teaching and academic activities, barring research work, are held online.
However, in December last year, the institute put in place a plan for slow rebooting of research work and to determine which students should be called in first and how. A committee was set up with student and faculty representatives.
While undergraduate students and incoming masters and PhD students can complete their semester remotely, research scholars and senior masters students have to mandatorily complete their research projects to complete their course work. Thus, scholars who needed access to laboratories for their work were allowed to come back on priority.
Prita Pant, head of the reboot committee and professor in the department of metallurgical engineering and materials sciences, had earlier told HT that measures were put in place to ensure social distancing and rational shifts in labs. “A checklist has been shared with labs and department heads. The heads and the guides will take a final call on whether it is essential for the student to come to campus,” Pant had said. Currently there are around 3,000 students on campus.