NEW DELHI: Even as the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, announced the decision taken by its senate to conduct the next semester only in online mode in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, other IITs have said they will wait for the directions from the Centre.
In a social media post on Wednesday night, IIT Bombay director Subhasis Choudhuri had said that the institute — after internal discussion — has decided to offer the upcoming semester purely online.
“After a long deliberation in the Senate, we have decided that the next semester will be run purely in the online mode so that there is no compromise on the safety and wellbeing of the students. The COVID pandemic has made us rethink the way we impart education to our students,” he wrote.
Other IITs, however, said that they were still waiting for the Union Human Resources Development ministry’s views on the report by a subcommittee submitted to the standing council of the prestigious institutions.
“So far we have not heard back from the ministry but our decision will be based on how the HRD ministry guides us,” said an IIT director who did not wish to be named.
Another IIT director said that a meeting of the standing council is expected next week to deliberate on the issue.
A report “Post COVID-19 Minimum Common Strategy to address Operational Challenges in Admissions, Evaluation, and Assessments of Students in IITs” by a sub-committee headed by IIT Delhi director V Ramgopal Rao had suggested that first semester for all UG and PG students of all courses be conducted only online.
“Semester I (2020-21) classes for all UG and PG programs to be conducted in online mode for all courses, with short term and smaller weightage evaluations through viva, online quizzes, take home exams, online exams etc,” the report submitted early last week had said.
It also said that only students who have poor connectivity or may not have access to internet may be permitted to return to campus and they could attend the online classes from their hostels.
The panel has also suggested that laboratory courses or laboratory components of courses to be deferred to a later time, maybe next summer, when this may be completed in an intensive 2-3 week period.
It also recommended that projects in BTech, MTech or other programs to be given to students should preferably to be theoretical or computational or something that can be completed remotely and PG programme be reduced to one and a half years instead of 2 years.
“The situation will be reviewed again in October 2020 and subsequent measures, as deemed necessary, will be taken,” the committee said.