IIT-Bombay to hold online classes for the next semester

In view of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, will conduct the next semester of the new academic year completely online.

The institute’s senate on Wednesday decided that the autumn semester will be conducted online in the interest of the students’ safety. Subhasis Chaudhuri, director, IIT Bombay, said that the senate’s decision to conduct online classes is applicable only for the autumn semester. “Online classes could entail classes in all possible virtual forms.The modality for each lecture will be decided by the course instructor,” said Chaudhuri.

The institute has been shut since March 14 and an early summer vacation was announced from April 1 to May 31. However, owing to continuing lockdown, classes haven’t resumed yet.

While classes for the spring semester of 2020 had been concluded prior to the shutdown, exams were pending. On May 17, the administration announced an elaborate scheme to do away with spring semester exams and promote students based on their scores in the previous semester.

With the autumn semester set to begin soon, the institute administration is making all possible efforts to equip students for online classes.

In a first-of-its-kind campaign, the administration is raising funds through crowdsourcing to provide IT hardware such as laptops and broadband connectivity to students from marginalised communities. The institute aims to raise Rs 5 crore through donations for the purpose. “Our alumni has already provided a decent amount but we still need more to make sure that no student is left out,” said Chaudhuri. Donors will be entitled to tax benefits under section 80G of the Income Tax Act.

On the other hand, around 70 final year undergraduate and post-graduate students, who are currently residing in hostels as they could not leave for home during the lockdown, have been asked to vacate the hostel premises to make room for the next year.

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