Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar commenced the classes for the new academic year on 17th August, 2020 for its on-roll students and 27th August, 2020 for the new Postgraduate students (M.Tech, M.Sc and Ph.D students) amidst Covid-19 pandemic. All the classes are now being conducted by live streaming of classes to their homes without the physical presence of students in the campus. That is, the present semester has started almost on time, with only a delay of three weeks compared to the normal or non-pandemic situation. The students will be brought to the campus through an SOP as the situation improves and permits.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof R V Raja Kumar Director said, “we could start the new academic year on time and we are now left with the only challenge of commencing the classes for fresh and 2020-21 batch of BTech students. Now that JEE Mains and JEE (Advanced) examinations are scheduled for (01 - 06) and 27th of September 2020, respectively, we will be able to admit the students, and commence their classes after a couple of months and save the academic year of the BTech fresher’s”. It is certainly feasible to cope up with the pandemic and reduce the risks by being conscious and by taking the precautions to give a right opportunities for our youth”.
Speaking on the effectiveness of the online mode of education, Prof Kumar said, “the pandemic forced us to start the new academic year through on-line mode. It has some drawbacks and some advantages too. Our endeavor should be to minimize the disadvantages and capitalize on the advantages. At IIT Bhubaneswar I have personally addressed the faculty and advised them to do effective on-line teaching, maintain the ‘connect’ and interaction by adopting the best practices, own innovative practices and some experimentation, in the online mode. Right problem solving assignments with feedback to students which can be done online is important for participatory learning. The hands-on for the laboratory part will be done once the students return to the campus. But some concurrent on-line laboratory training too will be provided now itself alongside the theory classes, so that their learning is not affected due to the delayed laboratory practice. Learning is an important component of education and therefore the role of a student, the main stake holder is very important for the success of the endeavor. A student should be aware of it that one has to be entrepreneurial in arranging a device and connectivity and also put the extra effort in making one’s learning from the on-line education, effect. The society can hope for this at the present juncture from the students of higher education”.
Dr Pravas R Sahu, Dean (Academic) said, “IIT Bhubaneswar completed its education of the last academic year without any compromises and timely by live streaming of classes, conducting remaining laboratory classes and thesis work by online means, conducting conventional examinations by creating and adopting a unique and very innovative on-line method for all of its students, despite the Covid-19 pandemic”.