IIT – Delhi Proposes Changes to HRD Minister

A group of teachers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) has sent a proposal to the Union Human Resources and Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank.’

This comes at the onset of the disruptions in the education department due to the pertaining pandemic. They suggest certain changes can be made to restore normalcy in the education sector as soon as possible. 

What does the proposal state?

There are several suggestions that have been made-by IIT-Delhi to the Minister. They include:

  1. Declaring the upcoming Autumn semester as ‘zero semesters.’ This helps faculties and administrations in educational institutes across the country to complete ‘formalities’ such as completing the halted academic session, conducting final-year examinations, placement issues, convocation, etc., and update their infrastructure that was hastily down at present but can be organised better to continue online teaching for the time being. 
  2. The lost time can be compensated “within twelve to eighteen months of the end of the crisis,” the teachers assure in the proposal. This can be done by using online modes of teaching such as the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) and Ekalavya, reducing vacation durations, using online methods for primary school students, etc. 
  3. The time till January- 2021 should be utilised to the hilt. This is the time that higher educational institutes should “come together to pool resources and develop strategies for optimal online delivery and evaluation.”

Purpose of the proposal

Nalin Pant, Professor of Chemistry at IIT-D, and member of the institute’s Board of Governors confirmed that proposal has been sent to the minister and the IIT Council. This proposal stems from the fact that the return to offline modes and students into the campus could become detrimental on health grounds. 

The document reads: “Given the typical arrangements in classrooms and hostels, students are likely to be super spreaders and even if they are not in the vulnerable group, they can easily spread virus among those who are vulnerable (e.g. parents, teachers, grandparents etc.).

The emphasis should be on ensuring that students in remote areas and poor connectivity are not left-behind. For instance, such students could be asked to visit nearest educational institution for online examinations. Central institutions like IISERs, IITs, Delhi Univ. etc. should take the lead in this.”

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Source-The Indian Express