The Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ held a virtual meeting today with the directors of the IITs, NITs, IIITs, IISc and IISERs to discuss COVID-19 management, online learning and implementation of NEP 2020. According to an official press release, two engineering institutes – IISc Bangalore and IIT Kharagpur will soon be offering medical courses, the minister said adding that this part of plan to implement the NEP 2020.
According to the official notification, “In meeting between directors of IITs, IISERs, NITS and IISc with the Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, institutes were commended for their contribution in fight against COVID. Many engineering institutes have not only researched during the time of crisis but plan to teach medicine as a field of study too. IISc Bangalore and IIT Kharagpur are soon to start courses in Medical sciences. This is part of many suggestions under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 which suggests institutes to become multidisciplinary.”
The education minister also discussed about the research work undertaken by these institutions to tackle the Covid situation. He commended the institutes in developing low cost RT-PCR machines, kits, ventilators and mathematical modelling of predicting the trend of coronavirus 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 in past one year,” read the notice.
The status of COVID cases in the campus of these institutions and handling of situation was also discussed in the meeting. All the institutes also discussed about their COVID-19 management strategies as well as about any voluntary service extended to create awareness and supply of necessary support for those in need in the respective states. Each of the institutes also briefed about the vaccination drive undertaken for campus residents in consultation with local administration and as per the guidelines.
The education minister further stated that that there is a need to maintain the quality education in these institutes. The status of imparting online education, virtual laboratory courses by these institutes was also reviewed by the minister.