Amidst the pandemic, the education system took a heavy blow and schooling all over the world took an online route. Conventional methods of teaching were ultimately dropped, and technology again proved beneficial for the entire education sector.

Most of the schools and colleges started conducting lectures online through applications like Zoom and Google Meet.

Some of the students lacked the resources through which online education is possible while on the other hand, teaching quality is hampered due to network connectivity or notorious pranks pulled by the students.

Even though there were a lot of barriers faced by both students and teachers, learning and teaching online has become the new normal. 

What is ‘Zero’ Week?

Recently, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay has also announced that it will conduct online lectures for candidates admitted in the first year of their undergraduate courses.

In an open letter posted online by Dr Subhasis Chaudhuri, Director of IIT-B and Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering declared that the first week would comprise of general introductory sessions which he termed as the “zero” week.

After the commencement of the first academic year for UG students, in the ‘zero’ week, they will be guided on how to attend online lectures.

The student alumni of IIT Bombay would also help the newly joined candidates and would provide orientation so that their online experience would not be obstructed. 

Commencement and Duration of Semesters:

Before the pandemic, IIT- Bombay used to conduct semester-wise examinations for undergraduate courses. For engineering, the whole course duration was four years which is further divided into eight semesters.

The candidates should update themselves about all the changes made in the course duration, commencement and the syllabus, if any, by keeping a check on the website. 

Usually, the first year of IIT Bombay is launched in August and continued till December, which is the first semester, and the second semester would have been commenced from January to June.

But as the pandemic has its own limitation, the autumn semester for the first year undergraduate batches would be held from November to March and the following spring semester would commence from March to July.

This information was stated in the offer letter granted to the students whose admissions have been confirmed for this academic year in the UG course. The institution has advised the students to be prepared with essential devices to log in from their homes for online lectures. 

Dr Subhasis Chaudhuri also added in his online post that the students would be able to complete their first academic year by the end of June month.

Prior to the commencement of the second academic year, the students will be allowed to enjoy one month of summer vacations before they get back to their computer screens.

The dates of the following semesters are planned accordingly so that the examinations could be held simultaneously with the other batches and synchronicity can be observed. 

Helping Hand for Students:

Since a good internet connection, an android phone or laptops are prerequisites for online education, a student who does not have the funds to use such facilities would eventually miss online lectures.

For students who do not have the resources to avail online education, IIT Bombay will lend a helping hand for such students so that they do not miss their lectures.

Recently, IIT Bombay generated a hefty amount of Rupees 4 crore by crowdfunding to help students who do not have required electronic devices to attend online sessions. 

Hostel Accommodation:

Due to the restrictions laid down by the government, in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic, IIT Bombay has mentioned in its offer letter that they cannot provide hostel accommodation for students as there is a scarcity of rooms in the campus.

Keeping in mind the safety of the students for this academic year, IIT Bombay will not allow any students to opt for an accommodation in the hostel. 

Relief for PhD and Post Graduate Students:

For PhD students who have to complete their research in order to finish their degree are allowed to come back to the campus. Some PG students who do not have the required resources to study online are also provided with hostel accommodation to complete their education.

The rebooting committee of IIT Bombay ensures that one room in the hostel is accommodated by only one student, and all the guidelines regarding the pandemic are observed. 

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