IIT-Bombay scraps face-to-face lectures till year-end

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai has become the first major educational institution in the country to scrap all face-to-face lectures for the rest of the year due to the COVID19 pandemic.

In an announcement made late Wednesday night, director Subhasis Chaudhuri said the institute would teach the next semester “purely in the online mode so that there is no compromise on the safety and well being of the students”.

“The COVID Pandemic has made us at IIT Bombay rethink the way we impart education to our students. 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 a Facebook post shared close to midnight.

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This is the first time in the institute’s 62-year-old history that a new academic year will start with no students on campus. Other IITs are likely to follow with similar announcements on holding virtual lectures for the autumn semester.

Given that a large section of the students at IIT-Bombay come from economically weak families, the director also appealed for donations to help bridge the digital divide. The funds raised would go towards assisting the institute in purchasing laptops, and internet data plan for such students to access virtual classes, he said.

“We do not want a single student to miss out the learning experience for the lack of money. We have estimated that we need about Rs 5 crores 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, however small it may be,” Chaudhuri wrote in his Facebook post. Subsequently, heads of different departments sent emails to all students enquiring who all do not have access to a personal computer or laptop and internet connection.

Courtesy: The Indian Express

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