Coronavirus: Lean period at engineering colleges & business schools a big help

Most Indian engineering colleges and business schools will have limited impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the ongoing sessions, as most of them have already completed their placements and are in the lean period.

However, several of them have already put in place a temporary stop on the arrival of foreign faculty who come in to teach in their full-time flagship programmes as well as executive education programmes, even before the government on Thursday imposed curbs on travel for foreigners coming into India until April 15.

Leading institutions such as IIM-Ahmedabad, IIM-Kozhikode, IIM-Indore, IIM-Trichy, Bhavan’s SP Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR), IIT-Bombay, IIT-Kanpur are introducing measures including postponing of events and large gatherings, imposing travel restrictions and holding extensive awareness generation sessions on campus about the outbreak.

“We have stopped foreign faculty who come in to teach in our full-time MBA programmes from coming for the time being till we have more knowledge about the situation,” said Preobroto Ganguly, the head of human resources at Bhavan’s SPJIMR. We have also stopped domestic and international travel for faculty … apart from that, we have put a hold on our short-term modular programmes like executive education programmes,” he added.


At IIT-Kharagpur, the foreign faculty arrived at the campus late December and early January. “They have already passed the 21-day quarantine period and after that no one has come in,” said a spokesperson.

IIM-Kozhikode in Kerala, which has reported a higher number of cases than the other parts of India, has postponed its convocation scheduled on April 4 and so has IIM-Ahmedabad and IIMIndore. Others like SPJIMR, which have their convocations coming up over the next few weeks, are also likely to postpone it.

“We have postponed our convocation scheduled for April 4 and also putting on hold our executive education programmes till we are surer about the situation,” IIM-Kozhikode director Debashis Chatterjee said.

IIM-Ahmedabad is organising awareness programmes for students and faculty. “Students, hostel wardens, administrative departments and faculty are proactively attempting to handle the situation,” said an official from the institute.

As a preventive measure, IIT Delhi has suspended all the academic, co-curricular and

extra-curricular activities. The students have been asked to leave the hostel by March 15, 2020 midnight by IIT Delhi.

While the older IIMs have already completed their placements in January and February, some of the newer ones like Nagpur and Trichy, which are in the process of wrapping it up, said there had been no negative impact on the placement process.

“The impact of the Covid-19 is minimum at the campuses,” said Bhimaraya Metri, Director of IIM-Trichy. “The placement process is rolling in nature at our institute. Summer placements start in the month of September and final placements start in the month of November,” said Metri.

The IITs, including Bombay, Kharagpur and Kanpur, which have completed their placements in January, said they too were monitoring the situation closely and taking appropriate measures. IIT-Kanpur deputy director Manindra Agrawal said the institute would take a decision by Friday on classroom teaching.

Some of the global schools such as Harvard have already started transitioning to virtual instruction for graduate and undergraduate classes and asking students to meet academic requirements remotely until further notice.

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