Atul Krishna|Apr 20, 2021
IIT Delhi halts return of students due to rise in COVID-19 cases
IIT Delhi COVID Committee has also issued fresh instructions and those not wearing masks on campus will be fined.
New Delhi: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi’s administration has temporarily halted the “onboarding” of its students, or their return to campus, due to the surge in COVID-19 cases. “No new permissions will be granted to students for onboarding in the hostels or labs till further notice,” an IIT Delhi official told Careers360.
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The decision, communicated to students on Monday, was taken on the advice of IIT Delhi’s COVID Committee which, according to a letter from the registrar issued today, is “very concerned about the laxity on the part of many in the campus” about following the government’s COVID-19 guidelines.
A system of fines and penalties has thus been instituted for those violating the guidelines. Those not wearing masks properly will be fined Rs 500 and those not wearing one at all, Rs 2,000. Repeat defaulters -- whether staff-member or student -- will face other penalties and disciplinary action.
IIT Delhi halts ‘onboarding’
"We regret to inform you that given the rising Covid cases in Delhi and the occupancy in the hostels, the Institute Covid Committee has decided to temporarily halt any further onboarding," says the March 22 letter to students from the dean of students’ affairs, IIT Delhi. “We understand that some requests have been pending since early March, but there is little that we can do right now.” The letter further says: "Those whose requests are pending at the ADSW [associate dean, student’s affairs] will remain stuck there until it seems safe to resume onboarding.”
Last year, IIT Delhi had shut its campus, cancelling all classes and exams, on March 13, 2020, and asked its students to vacate the hostels by March 15, 2020 to control the spread of coronavirus. It resumed classes online from July and once the lockdown was lifted, researchers and other students were being allowed back to campus in small numbers.
IIT Delhi: Fines and penalties
For those already on campus, the IIT Delhi administration has reiterated the guidelines and warned of punitive action. The Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 fines “will be applicable uniformly to all residents of the whole campus and to all stakeholders”, says the registrar’s email, adding that “the security guards have been authorized to collect the fines on-the-spot from the defaulters”. A repeat offender might find themselves “debarred from entering the campus” if they are day-scholar or have their hostel allocation cancelled if they reside on campus. Disciplinary action will be taken against staff as well if they or their family members break the rules.
“We have been advising and requesting all students, faculty, staff, campus residents and workers on campus to be more careful and follow the guidelines of the government strictly.... However, it has been observed that the required seriousness towards the preventive measures has reduced, despite repeated requests and reminders. People are seen in groups, not socially distanced and without masks,” said the registrar’s email explaining the measures being taken. “The Covid Committee at IIT Delhi ... has taken a very serious note of the same.”
The email reminds students and staff to wear masks at all times, maintain social distance, wash hands frequently, use sanitisers and avoid crowds. “If any symptoms are observed, the concerned person should immediately isolate, get tested and inform authorities,” says the note. It also reassures that housekeeping, mess and construction workers will be made to comply with the mask rules as well.
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