IIT Kanpur allows research scholars to return to campus after six months

Topics IIT Kanpur | Coronavirus | Lockdown

IIT Kanpur | Photo credit: IIT Kanpur website
Six months after the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur had asked its students to vacate hostels following the Covid-19 outbreak, the premier Institute has now allowed its research scholars to return to the campus. In the first phase, the IIT Kanpur will allow PhD students to return, followed by the Masters students in separate batches.

“The first batch of 280 PhD students will undergo the 14 days’ mandatory quarantine in a special quarantine hostel, before they are allowed to return to their respective hostel blocks,” IIT Kanpur Director Prof Abhay Karandikar told Business Standard.

These students will return to the campus in two batches of 140 each on Monday and Tuesday, while the quarantine hostel has the capacity to host 300 students at a time. The Institute has also made arrangements to deliver food packets to the students during the quarantine period.

“The students were asked to return to the campus on the voluntary basis, and so far nearly 1,000 students have expressed the willingness to come back,” he informed.

During the lockdown period, the IIT Kanpur had been conducting online classes for its students. Yet, the research work of the PhD scholars was getting affected, which prompted the Institute to make arrangements for their early return to the campus vis-à-vis other category of students.

The current students’ strength in the IIT Kanpur is nearly 7,500, of which, the total number of students pursuing their PhD and Masters is about 3,000.

“After the return of the 280 students to the campus, the next batches are expected to arrive in October and November,” Prof Karandikar said adding those students who were already availing of the online classes need not return in this phase.

In March this year, the IIT Kanpur had directed its undergraduate, MBA, first-year MTech/MDes/MS students to vacate the hostels owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

In fact, the Institue had also cancelled its flagship annual technical and entrepreneurial fiesta Techkriti 2020, which was slated to kick off from March 19. Techkriti is listed among the most prestigious fests hosted by the country’s top rung engineering and management schools. While, Techkriti 2020 was cancelled, the attendance of the post graduate (PG) students until April 15 was made optional.

Recently, IIT Kanpur had announced to support the start-ups and small/medium businesses in the unfolding economic challenges of the pandemic. The Institute has created a business resource titled, Technopark@iitk, to allow the beleaguered MSMEs to leverage the Institute’s research & development (R&D) strengths.

Under the Technopark@iitk, the Institute has floated an ‘Affiliate Membership Model’ to provide a gateway to the MSMEs to access its deep seated R&D infrastructure. The primary goal of the Model is to handhold the MSMEs for improving their product quality and to assist them in skill and technology up-gradation.

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