A situation of worry and panic has been created by the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, not only for one’s health but also about everyone’s educat
A situation of worry and panic has been created by the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, not only for one’s health but also about everyone’s education, jobs, internships, and future.
Everything has come to a sudden halt and the lockdown has forced all the institutions to shut and pushed all the people inside their homes.
March, April, May and the months around are the most crucial months for everyone, may it be a student going to appear for their final exam or entrance exam, or even applying for internships and jobs.
These months also mark the end of the fiscal year, and amid the close down, everything has been stopped. Many people have lost their jobs while many others are facing a cut in their salaries.
Everyone is coping with the situations and looking forward to things to fall back into their right places. But the situations are not only the worry of the students and aspirants but also of the governing bodies of their institutions and further beyond.
To relax this burden on the students as well as the working staff and give them assurance of their studies, jobs, and future, AICTE, The All India Council for Technical Education has issued advisory instructions for all the engineering and technical institutions that fall under its jurisdiction.
These instructions were announced as immediate as within 3 days of the announcement of the lockdown. AICTE ensured that the instructions were announced before any harsh or major steps could be taken by the engineering institutions and other similar bodies.
Some of the instructions that were provided by the All India Council for Technical Education include:-
Payment of Fees
As per the guidelines provided, all the colleges and institutions under the AICTE have been instructed to not insist on the payment of fees by the students till the lockdown is lifted and they are able to join the institution back after normalcy is restored.
AICTE also stated in a press release that “Accordingly, all colleges and Institutions are directed to display the information on their websites and also communicate the same to the students through email.”
Restrictions on the spread of fake news
Easy access to social media platforms has made fake news a big problem, especially in a critical situation like this, it is important not to spread fake news. It can be life-endangering amid the global pandemic.
Like everyone who understands how critical and dangerous fake news can be, the AICTE has also strictly discouraged the spread of fake news under any consequences.
“Various interest groups / individuals are circulating fake news on social media platforms thereby creating misinformation and rumours. Discouraging any such fake news and reporting the matter to concerned authorities would be a prime responsibility of all stakeholders,” it said.
Employs will not lose their jobs
Another very important instruction that has been given out by AICTE is to not fire any of their employees. Everybody at these times is facing monetary issues, even the biggest institutions and many people are losing their jobs.
But AICTE has provided the employees working in the institutions under their jurisdiction with this immense assurance of not losing their job positions or have a cut in their salaries amid the lockdown situation.
“It has been learned that various institutions have not paid a salary to their faculty and staff members for the duration of the lockdown. Also, certain institutions have terminated the services of certain faculty/ staff members.
It is clarified that salary and other dues to the faculty/staff members will be released for the duration of lockdown and also Terminations, if any, made during the lockdown will be withdrawn,” it said.
Online classes and semester examinations
“Regarding the conduct of semester examinations, it is clarified that UGC has constituted a committee for recommending the modalities of conduct of examinations, the award of marks and passing criteria in examinations,” AICTE said in a statement.
Like many other colleges, AICTE has also instructed to take classes as well as the semester examinations on online platforms itself as the future is extremely unpredictable in these situations and due to that, the education of the students should not get hampered.
“Due to the inability of certain students to access internet services, colleges and Institutions are advised to allow students of other colleges/ institutions in their vicinity to access the internet facility at their colleges/ institutions,” it said.
The Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme is a scholarship scheme for the students having Jammu and Kashmir domicile. This year, due to the lockdown and even before that, the restrictions on the internet in Kashmir have delayed the activities for the scheme for the year 2020-2021.
“However, it is clarified that the scheme will be continued as in the past once the lockdown is lifted. A calendar of events, laying down fresh timelines will be published in the AICTE website in due course,” said AICTE.
These guidelines are a huge assurance for the people who are a part of this engineer/ technical college circle and have also provided them with a certainty of what will happen in the future unlike many other situations around.
It is a great and much-required step taken by the AICTE and should be followed by the management of each and every college, even that is not a part of this specific circle.
Cooperation and patience are two very important things at these times and any harsh decision can be permanently harmful to many lives. Thus it is very important to think properly before any rule is brought in or step is taken.