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IIT-M fallout: Colleges told to break up the addas

With around 100 students testing positive on the IIT-Madras campus, universities have been tasked with preventing any ‘adda’ on campus. Students have a habit of socialising in close groups on campus, increasing their chances of contracting the infection. From counselling students to testing for

and ensuring they follow all covid protocols – not just on campus, but until they reach home, faculty members are going to be busy this winter.

TD Kemparaju, vice-chancellor, Bengaluru-north-university , said that students stay for close to six hours on campus. But, it was a bigger issue for those who stay in hostels. Currently, as per the protocol, students are tested when they enter the campus but what would happen later is the concern.

“We have decided to take a number of steps like frequent testing of the students. The teachers and faculty members are also counselling them as many of them are scared to take the covid test, and often do not speak up if they feel they have symptoms. Students need to understand that they could be putting many lives at risk if

they do not speak about it,” said Kemparaju.

KR Venugopal, vice-chancellor, Bengaluru-university , said, “We are taking extra precautions especially in hostels and have decreased the number of students per room from four or five to two. We have also put up boards in every classroom on the various covid dos and don’ts so that students do not forget the Standard operating procedures (SOP) at any given point of time when they are on campus.”

However, Dr B C Narasimha Murthy , vice-chancellor, Bengaluru Central University , said, “Testing is quite important but many students are scared to take them and avoid coming to campus. Hence, we need to counsel them. Additionally, we are also checking the temperature of the students and asking them to sanitise their hands frequently. The process is repeated from the moment they enter campus.”

“I think the key is to strictly follow the SOPs sent by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development. Each of the steps has been clearly stated and we need to follow them strictly to keep the students safe,” said AS Deshpande,Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) registrar.