COVID: Education minister chairs meeting with directors of leading institutions, including IITS

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New Delhi, May 20 (PTI) Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' on Thursday chaired a COVID-19 management review meeting with directors of leading institutions, including IISc and IITs, and said positive thinking can help avoid unnecessary anxiety among students and the teaching community.

During the meeting, the online education being imparted by these institutes was also reviewed.

There is a need to maintain the quality of education in these institutes of national importance besides taking adequate safety measures for managing the COVID-19 situation, the minister said.

'The positive thinking and positive reactions to the current situation could avoid unnecessary anxiety among students and the teaching community. An effort by the Institutes would be helpful in creating positive atmosphere in society,' Nishank said at the meeting.

The status of imparting online education and virtual laboratory courses by the institutes was also reviewed by the minister. Besides IITs and IISc, the meeting was also attended by directors of NITs, IISERs and IIITs.

'Directors of the institutes mentioned that they have already started online teaching since the commencement of initial lockdown in March’20. Some of the institutions have also developed their own app for online teaching and evaluation,' a Union education ministry official said.

'They also informed that for students facing connectivity issue, the lecture contents were made available even for later use which they can download from anywhere and study,' the senior official said.

The status of COVID-19 cases on the campus of these institutions and handling of the situation was also discussed.

The institutes detailed their COVID-19 management strategies, the voluntary service they have extended to the local administration for creating awareness and support for management of the situation in their respective state, the official said.

The institutes also briefed the minister about the vaccination drive undertaken for campus residents in consultation with local administration and as per the guidelines.

'Minister commended the institutes in developing low cost RT-PCR machines, kits, ventilators, mathematical modelling of predicting the trend of COVID-19 and successfully placing them at the disposal of state health departments. Many of the research products have been commercialised through the incubation cells and start ups set up by these institutes,' the official said. PTI GJS GJS ANB ANB

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