As the unlock process started across the country, the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IITH) is also preparing to resume academic activities on campus – albeit in very measured steps.
The decks have been cleared for the first batch of 70 doctoral scholars to return to the campus from August 10.
IITH Director Prof BS Murthy said, “It is the ‘thrust on research’ which has placed IIT Hyderabad as one of the prominent and promising institutions in the country. To enable our PhD students to carry out their experimental research amid this pandemic situation, we have decided to invite them, particularly those in their final year, to the campus. All the precautionary measures have been put in place and will be followed to ensure the safety of our students.”
The PhD students whose work is mostly computational have been advised to work from home. In view of transportation curbs due to the Covid lockdown, faculty have initially identified students hailing from Telangana and nearby states. Only students willing to reside on campus are being allowed to return.
As per IITH plans, the first batch will initially spend two weeks in self-quarantine in designated quarters on campus before moving to their own hostel rooms. Thereafter they will be allowed to take their meals at the mess in accordance with physical distancing norms.
Mess workers stationed at IITH, have already undergone two weeks of self-quarantine on the campus, and will stay on campus to serve the students. Other than the mess, no other eateries will be operative on the campus.
The students, who are allowed into the campus, will not be allowed to go outside the campus until the social distancing is lifted by the government. Wearing a mask and maintaining social distance will be strictly enforced.
After the first batch of students complete their self-quarantine and move to their hostel rooms, they will be under observation for a week or two before the second batch of students are allowed into the campus. Each batch will comprise 70 students.
Subsequently, MTech/MDes students, whose thesis depend on experimental work, will be allowed in the campus in batches of about 70. IITH plans to continue this practice till the government withdraws social distancing norms.
Meanwhile, the course work students will be allowed to come into the campus only after the government lifts the social distancing. Offline teaching will start after these students return to the campus. Until then the students will be imparted online learning.