As the nation goes through a medical emergency, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur has announced an interim semester break for first-year undergraduate (UG) students. “A semester break for first-year undergraduate students will be given from 1st May to 16th May. No classes and tests will be held for first-year students during this period,” said director VK Tewari on Saturday.

From May 17 to May 23, 2021, the teachers of first-year students have been instructed to discuss the topics that have already been covered including patterns of test etc.

The spring semester started on March 30. The first-year spring semester will end in the first week of July, instead of the last week of June, as per the official statement.

A large number of students at IIT Kharagpur are ‘stressed’, ‘not able to concentrate on online lectures, tests and assignments’. Their learning abilities are impacted due to the current scenario, Mr Tewari said.

The family members of many first-year students got affected following the second wave of COVID and this posed challenges to the students in coping up with their academics.

The students, Mr Tewari said, felt that an interim break in the semester might give some relief and provide them time to consolidate things until the medical situation was stable.

“The pandemic issue was discussed in Heads and Deans meeting on 28th April 2021 and there was a general opinion to give a break in the current 1st year semester. On the recommendation of the meeting, the issue was further discussed in detail with the concerned Heads and first-year teachers on 29th April 2021. The student representatives were also called on to the meeting for their opinion,” he added.

Currently, the institute is preparing a modified academic calendar it will publish on the official website soon, Mr Tewari said.


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