National Institute of Technology – Tiruchi (NIT-T) is not in a hurry to bring back students in large numbers into the campus even though the number of COVID-19 cases are on the decline in Tiruchi.
Being a fully residential institution, NIT-T has taken measured steps in this direction, starting off with permitting Ph.D. scholars inside the campus in the recent months.
Over the next two months, the institution will be looking at the possibility of bringing back final year PG and final year UG students, NIT-T Director Mini Shaji Thomas said. In any case, conduct of online classes and examination has been a smooth process for students of all levels, she said.
A faculty team is in constant touch with the district administration to keep the officials updated on the graded measures being taken by the institution.
The institution has permitted about 50 B.Tech students from across the country for whom online connectivity was a serious issue. Besides them, there were already about 100 students from across the country who chose to stay in the hostel right through the COVID-19 lockdown from March 2020.
Be it Ph.D. scholars or B.Tech students, all have to go through the mandatory quarantine process.
The district administration, it is learnt, has advised the institution to take the necessary precautions to prevent occurrence of a COVID cluster similar to the incident in IIT-Madras last December.
Food is being sent to the rooms of students, to rule out overcrowding in the mess, which was stated to be one of the main causes for formation of the COVID cluster at IIT-Madras.
In its latest guidelines, the UGC has specified that heads of centrally-funded higher educational institutions can decide on opening of physical classes after satisfying themselves of the feasibility.
The phased opening at NIT-T, faculty members said, will be ideal to make students adhere to the social distancing norms, enforce wearing of face masks,and other safety parameters
Even in the event of permitting entry of final-year students inside the campus over the next couple of months, the NIT-T will be required to ensure that not more than 50% of the total students should be present at any point of time, on a rotational basis.
The UGC, according to the faculty, has permitted extension of teaching hours in a day; and adoption of a six-day schedule in a week for conduct of classes in phases.
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