The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur has decided to reopen its campus. Offline classes for all vaccinated students pursuing the two-year MTech and MSc programmes are expected to begin by October. The classes are being held virtually since March 2020 due to Covid-19. With the declining number of Covid-19 cases and things getting back to normal, students had written to the director VK Tewari to reopen the campus as practical classes cannot be covered through online lectures. Keeping the students’ requests in view, the director allowed the recall from October for the fully vaccinated returnees.
The dean of students’ affairs, Dhrubajyoti Sen told The Telegraph that all final-year students of the MSc and MTech courses with both doses of vaccine are being called back to the campus. He is quoted by the news portal as saying, “If they (MSc and MTech students) are not recalled now, they will graduate without visiting the campus.”
The lack of experience in the laboratories and workshops have raised questions on students’ career prospects. The practicals and lab work constitutes a large part of the technical courses. An official was quoted as saying by the newspaper, “Amid the pandemic, the teachers are trying to make the assignments and projects less lab-intensive. But the labs cannot be done away with.”
Around 900 research scholars are already on the campus and now, as the MTech and MSc students will return to the campus, any assembly will be avoided as much as possible. The main objective will be to allow access to the laboratories with a limited number of students at one time. Moreover, the students will be split into small groups to avoid gatherings.
As for the BTech students, only those who are facing resource constraints while attending online classes at home are being called back to campuses. Recently, students from top engineering colleges across the country including IITs had demanded reopening of campuses. They started Twitter campaigns #ReopenIIT_NIT_IIIT
Meanwhile, Jadavpur University, IIEST, Shibpur and several other polytechnic and engineering colleges have been planning to recall research scholars as well as final-year BSc, MSc, BTech and MTech students who are vaccinated soon.