(Last updated on April 8th, 2020)
In the past month, the COVID-19 disease has truly become a pandemic, with over 150 countries now reporting cases of the microscopic infiltrator within their borders. The response to this invisible enemy has varied across the globe, with countries like South Korea attacking decisively and others such as the United States on the back foot.
Our very own college – NITK – had the coronavirus in its crosshairs early on, with its notice on 11th March cautioning students to avoid travelling and visiting crowded places such as malls and theatres.
Following the advice of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, the Institute implored all employees, faculty members and students who had been abroad on or after 15th February to report to the Health Care Centre and undergo thorough medical check-up.
After carefully taking stock of the situation, and following the guidelines set by the State Government, it was declared on 14th March that all academic, extra curricular and co curricular activities and social gatherings were suspended with immediate effect till 31st March. The students were expected to vacate the hostels by 17th March, with the exception of DASA and ICCR/MEA students. All employees were instructed to follow the guidelines laid down by the Government authorities and refrain from travelling abroad.
A special meeting of the Senate of NITK was held on 17th March to deliberate on the revision of the Academic Calendar, with the body deciding to reschedule the remainder of the 2020 Even Semester to 1st June, with the end semester examinations commencing on 29th June and ending not later than 11th July.
This unforeseen change to the calendar led to the disruption of the summer internship and employee induction schedule, which the Career Development Centre tackled head on by imploring companies to provide work from home internships in accordance with the lockdown mandated by the Government as well as postponing the employee induction dates for the batch of 2020.
The students who were unable to make the journey back home are now being housed in the Himalaya Mega Tower (MT-2), with the Aravali Hostel Block Mess sustaining their food requirements. The essential services are still functioning, such as the Health Care Centre, Nandini milk parlour, Amul parlour, ATMs, the co-operative stores and certain administrative offices, with security personnel enforcing the implementation of social distancing and measures such as the use of hand sanitizers to prevent the possible spread of infection. With the exception of unauthorised outsiders being forbidden from entering, there are no restrictions on individual movement within the campus.
NITK is manufacturing its very own hand sanitizers, courtesy of the Department of Chemistry. The 70 ml capacity bottles, distributed free of cost to police, bankers and security officials, were manufactured to meet the current shortage in the market due to huge demand. The Institute plans to develop 8,000 to 10,000 bottles in the next 10 days subject to the availability of raw materials.
The Centre for System Design NITK (CSD NITK) has also lent a helping hand to the medical fraternity in this hour of need by designing and 3D printing components like circuit splitters and flow regulators for ventilation devices. CSD has also designed and 3D printed sterilizable bio-safe face mask and face shields for medical professionals in the neighbouring hospitals.
In order to aid students and staff in their work, Central Library NITK has enabled Remote Access and Mobile App functionality for the following databases – ACM, EBSCO, RSC, OUP, JSTOR, IEEE, ScienceDirect, Scopus, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis. They can be accessed remotely through log-in on a trial bases due to the limited number of user logins. Those who want to avail this feature are requested to fill this form using an NITK official email ID. For any clarifications and access issues, please do contact Mr Iranna Shettar, Asst. Librarian (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Remote Access Website link- https://nitsu.new.knimbus.com/user#/home