TED NewsDesk, KOLKATA: Faculty members from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM Calcutta) have expressed concern over the institute which allowed 62 students of its MBA executive programme to stay on the campus during the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Despite staying on the campus, these students will, however, continue attending classes online like their peers.
The institute authorities took a fresh decision in this context because the students whose courses began in April were facing difficulties at their off-campus accommodations. A section of the teachers has recently sent a letter to the board of the institute, warning that allowing the students inside the campus may lead to a situation similar to that in IIT Kharagpur, which had to impose a lockdown on its campus after several students and faculty members were affected by COVID-19.
“IIT Kharagpur had to vacate its hostels due to the continuing spread of COVID-19. There are news reports that a student of PGPC programme at IIM Ahmedabad who was allowed inside the campus tested positive for the infection. Such news reports have caused considerable anxiety to different stakeholders — campus residents and other faculty members and staffers who regularly visit the campus for official work,” the letter read.
Roughly 80 faculty members live within the IIM Calcutta campus in the southern fringes of the city. The institute, in a statement issued on September 8, said that the students will arrive at the campus in small groups this month. They will then be under quarantine in the hostels and will attend classes via online means. “It is an internal matter…we hope the authorities will soon find a solution acceptable to all,” a senior faculty member told PTI. Institute Director, Professor Anju Seth in a statement on September 8, said that the students will mandatorily be screened and quarantined “for their safety and that of other campus residents”.
In light of the widespread impact of the ongoing pandemic, students across the country have faced a lot of problems. With this initiative, for the welfare of students who reside on campuses, perhaps situations shall improve in the coming times. IIT Kharagpur had seen an unfortunate incident and institutes across India now know the challenges they can face and plan on how to avoid the same. Only time will tell if implementation and decision making go hand in hand in India’s top management institutes such as IIM Calcutta.