IIT Kharagpur has informed research scholars that those who will go home during the Puja have to “self-quarantine” themselves in their rooms on their return “in order to prevent any spread of infection of Covid-19 among other boarders”.
The research scholar will “voluntarily remain self-quarantined in his/her room for about a week”, says an advisory from the dean of students.
Although the Puja vacation is from October 12 to 17, the students have been asked to return on November 1 and then quarantine themselves before resuming academic activities.
An official of the institute said a gap of two weeks had been kept taking into account the possibility that the research scholars could be exposed to large gatherings during the Puja.
“During the buffer period they would be able to assess whether they are in a position to return,” said an IIT official.
The mail from the dean of students, Dhrubajyoti Sen, says: “We shall leave it to the wisdom of each scholar to follow this procedure (self-quarantine post-return), considering the grave consequences that may result otherwise”.
Sen in an emailed statement told The Telegraph: “We believe the scholars would take this restriction on their movement to the campus (that is, they are unable to join the campus soon after their Puja-hopping spree) in the right spirit since they too would not like to see them and their hall-mates getting infected — thus leading to a possible halt on the inflow process of students to the campus and vacating the infected halls.”
A scholar said staying away from research work for three weeks was bothering them because they returned to the campus only recently.
IIT Kharagpur is allowing scholars to return in batches now that a surge in Covid cases, which had peaked in May, has subsided.
The institute had in May asked its scholars to vacate hostels and go home because of the “limited space of isolation facilities and treatment”.