Kharagpur: IIT Kharagpur has donated Rs. One crore to the PM Cares Fund of Govt. of India following a call by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi to support initiatives to combat COVID-19. Keeping in mind the need for having a dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected, a public charitable trust under the name of ‘Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund’ (PM CARES Fund)’ has been set up.
IIT Kharagpur launched a campaign amongst its faculty and staff members to donate their one day’s salary towards this fund.The Institute has raised Rs. One crore from the faculty, staff and other sources of the Institute which has already been transferred to the PM Cares Fund.
“We had proposed to contribute towards this fund and circulated a form through which all employees of IIT Kharagpur can voluntarily donate towards this national fund through an institutional mechanism. I am glad to see people have come forward in large numbers and within a week we have been able to pledge the amount. We have communicated the same to the Ministry of Human Resources Development as well,” remarked Prof. Virendra Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur.
The Institute has also been approached by some alumni from the USA to set up a temporary fund in order to sustain and support for a period of 6 months, the needy people in and around the campus who have been severely affected economically due to COVID-19. While various government and non-government bodies are catering to the food supply of these sections of the community, there is a constant and urgent need for supplying them personal protective equipment or PPE gears for essential service providers, cleaning materials for needy people at large.
Talking about initiatives taken by IIT Kharagpur, Director Tewari further said, “We have set up regulations regarding social distancing, staggered hours for accessing public utility and essential services, accommodation for workers engaged in essential services, maintenance, halls of residence, security. Entry and exit to the campus has also been restricted to only one gate with security and health checks. We are ensuring nobody crosses the campus boundaries unless it is for a necessary activity that too not on a daily basis and not without surveillance and sanitization. The safety of our students, our people is our priority and I am glad every person on campus is cooperating with the administration in making this lockdown successful. I am positive people elsewhere in the country too would adhere to government regulations.”
The Institute is currently residence to about 5500 students and even a higher number of other community members comprising employees and their families. “The administrative body of the Institute has been issuing notifications/circulars at regular intervals to communicate mandatory practices to be followed by the campus residents be they in the hostels or in family quarters as per MOWFA, GOI, Home Ministry and Govt of West Bengal guidelines/advisories issued time to time,” Registrar Prof. Bhrigu Nath Singh.
The Institute has already preponed the summer recess by more than a month and also issued a revised academic calendar, confirmed Registrar Prof. Singh. It has also procured a large number of licenses of online platforms through teaching and learning can be continued in electronic mode without any interruption.