In a first, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai has decided to scrap all its face-to-face classroom lectures for the new academic session beginning July and switch to online classes for the rest of the year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Making the announcement in a Facebook post, IIT-Bombay’s director Subhasis Chaudhuri said, “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 at the same time called for support and donations to help students from underprivileged sections of society with laptops and broadband connections.
“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 ₹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,” he said.
IIT, one of the premier institution in the country is the first to have taken such a step.
With the semester for undergraduate and post-graduate courses beginning in July, this is the first time a new academic session will start without students on campus in the institution’s 62-year history.
Other IITs are also likely to follow suit. However, no final decision has been taken yet.
The decision comes amid an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases in the country with Maharashtra recording the highest number of infections – 1, 42,900 cases – and 6,739 fatalities so far.