An Open House session about Campus Reboot was held recently, with several institute functionaries including Prof. Kundu (Dean of Student Affairs), Prof. Prita Pant (Associate Dean, Academic Programme), the COVID Task Force and student representatives.
With the COVID situation showing significant improvement after the 2nd wave, the institute is planning to gradually open up to allow all students on campus. Several students have already been staying on campus for over a year, including post-graduate and final year undergraduate students, and those with resource constraints. The next semester is scheduled to start on 1st Jan in a hybrid mode- it is optional for 2nd and 3rd year students to return to campus. Arrival is allowed between dates starting from end of December and upto 20th and 21st January for UG Sophomores and UG third-years respectively.
While students are encouraged to return, those with comorbidities or safety concerns may continue their academic programme from home without any disturbance.
Vaccination and Quarantine Requirements
Requirements on arrival at IITB:
If fully vaccinated OR 1 dose + negative RTPCR within 72 hrs of arrival: 7 days “soft quarantine” in own hostel room
Otherwise, 7 days “hard quarantine” in a separate hostel, and regular testing later on (students are urged to avoid this option, and get vaccinated as soon as eligible. There is a vaccination centre in IITB as well.)
Requirements during the semester:
Students without any dose or 3 months after first dose may be tested periodically
“Soft quarantine” means that a person should not eat in the mess, go to physical lectures or congregate in any manner with others.
But they may go to the mess to pick up food, or to shops, or may go around the campus outdoors, etc.
“Hard quarantine” means that the person is confined to their room, except for using bathroom facilities and picking up food.
Mask usage is mandatory. A fine of Rs.100 on first offence and Rs.500 on subsequent offences would be levied.
The institute does not mandate the use of Arogya Setu. However, depending on the state guidelines for domestic travel, students might have to install Arogya Setu, so they must check the state guidelines for the same.
Entry into campus for sophomores and parents
The hostel allotment has been shared with the students and the parents can come on the first day to help their children settle. But they would not be allowed to spend the night and have to follow all COVID protocols. Parents are not allowed to visit other hostels or the mess. It is strongly recommended that they are doubly vaccinated. Younger siblings who are unvaccinated should not accompany the student.
Students need to bring proof of their MMR vaccination which would be required by the IITB Hospital. If they haven’t taken the MMR vaccine, they can avail the same at the IITB Hospital. It is advisable to come in the morning as the shops in the SAC and the warden’s office are not available in the night and wee hours.
Hostel and Room Sharing
In most cases, 2 students will be staying in a double occupancy room.
Due to increase in student strength and accommodation constraints, in a few cases, 3 students may be allotted a double occupancy room, or 2 students may be allotted a single occupancy room.
As of now, since the 1st year students have not been called back, there might not be a need for 3 students in 1 room.
To ensure that the crowd in the room does not affect the academic activities, students will be allowed access to the Central Library and the Reading Hall. If the need arises, the lecture halls would also be opened up in the off hours.
While there is no certainty in how it will play out, so far it seems to be mild. The risk is believed to be low hence students are being allowed to return.
Even in case of an outbreak, the institute functionaries do not anticipate having to ask students to return home. This is as long as Omicron does not cause any serious illness, and is subject to change.
In case of omicron outbreak:
Students will be asked to quarantine in their own rooms. Symptomatic or positive students may move into separate rooms.
The IITB Hospital has 18 beds which would be used for COVID positive students. If these get fully occupied, a separate isolated hostel would be used for self-isolation.
Wings of positive students would also be placed in an in-room quarantine for 7 days.
Currently, vaccinated students are being allowed to go out after making entries in a Leave Portal. This is subject to change if there is a third wave.
The number of outside visits per week were limited until recently, but now students can apply for leave every day if needed.
Students are discouraged from having frequent travels especially those residing locally.
Online/Physical Mode of Instruction?
Online or hybrid mode of instruction is based on the instructor’s choice.
Instructors have been asked to provide at least 1 hour of physical instruction for on-campus students, COVID conditions permitting. This could be in the form of tutorials or regular lectures. Either way, the hybrid mode will continue to accommodate students who are off campus.
If the situation continues to improve, midsems would happen offline.
Students without masks will be removed from the classroom and fined.
All classrooms are well-ventilated. Sufficient fresh air supply is being arranged for by installing exhaust fans, changing fresh air intake on ducted ACs to increase ventilation, and keeping doors/windows open for exhaust.
Students getting fever
Earlier, students were required to report fever to the IITB Hospital. Currently, students falling ill are required to self-isolate in a room (without roommate).
If cases increase, the students may be required to isolate in separate places.
Testing Positive for COVID during semester
Students who test positive will be isolated and doctors will monitor their health. Upon the doctor’s advice, the student will be put in either hard or soft quarantine.
The wing in which the student was staying will be put in hard quarantine.
General accommodation facilities
Shops for mattresses and essentials will be present in SAC (Student Activity Centre)
Bedsheets, pillow covers and blankets must be brought from home by the students
Washing machines and dryers are available in hostels.
Major electronic appliances like mini refrigerators etc. are not allowed. Students can bring electric kettles if they require.
Students are allowed to order items online even while in soft quarantine. The guidelines for the same would be shared by the hostel managers when they receive their room keys.
Some gymkhana facilities are available to students even in soft quarantine but the booking for the same has to be done using a portal maintained by the sports council. Cycles are available for renting (Mybyk etc.) or students can buy one for themselves and park it in the hostel.
Non-vaccinated students under 18
Must get a negative RT PCR and undergo 7 days hard quarantine
May require regular testing if COVID risk increases
Students are advised to come to the campus with their bank accounts opened to avoid hassles here. But they can visit any of the two banks on the campus to open their accounts prepared with proper documentation. Same for the SIM cards. Some convenience stores in the campus offer this facility.
ID cards will be issued later and the guidelines will be shared by the security office.