Image by Omkar Patil | Design by Rohit Reddy
On 27th August 2021, the Tamil Nadu Government issued a government order permitting colleges and universities to conduct classes on a rotational basis, starting 1st September 2021. This has raised questions about whether IIT Madras’ reopening plan is being modified.
The institute, however, owing to its residential nature, is sticking to its current plan of reopening. The universities and colleges being allowed to reopen in Chennai are not completely residential, giving them the leeway to open the gates. For a largely residential institute like IITM, there are a few more boxes that need to be checked. A Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) directive, a Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) directive and a third-wave analysis by the institute to understand the risks and outline contingency plans are necessary. A go-ahead for reopening the institute would require these directives to permit the institute to kickstart hybrid pedagogy or state the extent to which students can be called back. The current directives allow students to come back only for research purposes and mandate the institute to function at a 50% capacity only (4,000 of the 8,000 hostel rooms in the institute will be in use).
Currently, there are around 1,300 students on campus, and each mess table is permitted to have 2 students. If the third wave is not intense because of vaccination or if the situation improves down the line, student intake may be increased and 4-8 students may be allowed per table in the mess. As of today, 3rd September 2021, an update on the current plan is that the 2020 batch will be prioritised after the B.Tech. final-years who are scheduled to be called back in the Jan-May 2022 semester.
Disclaimer: This information is verified by the Students’ General Secretary and the Hostel Affairs Secretary. The information provided is as of today, 3rd September 2021, and may change over time.
Why is 2020 batch being prioritised? It would be better to call the pre-final years on the campus, who would want to engage in undergraduate research and projects.