Friday, December 9

IIEST to recharge data packs of 400 students

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IIEST, Shibpur, will recharge the data packs of students as some are struggling to bear the costs owing to the financial constraints because of the Covid-induced pandemic.

Some students wrote to the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) authorities, highlighting how financial distress was coming in the way of attending classes on the digital platforms. 

An official of the institute said, about 400 students who received full waiver and half waiver on tuition fee on the basis of annual family income, would get the data packs recharged.

At IIEST, students whose annual family income is less than Rs 1 lakh, enjoy full fee waiver while whose annual family income ranging between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 5 lakh get half fee waiver.

“Classes will continue to be held on the digital platforms as a precaution against Covid. These students are finding it difficult to continue with classes on online platforms following financial constraints. So, we have decided to get their data packs recharged,” said IIEST director Parthasarathi Chakrabarti.

An official said the decision on the data pack was taken at a meeting that the director held with others last Sunday.

The institute last year had set up a digital education hub with Rs 1 crore contribution from an alumnus to help students encounter the hassle of digital divide.

“Getting the data packs recharged is going to cost the institute close to Rs 4 lakh. We will use the corpus or appeal to the alumni for donation,” said the official.

The institute last week decided to give tabs to students who don’t have devices so they can attend online classes.

Aman Kumar, the acting general secretary of the students’ senate, said they had raised the issue of the data packs last year.

“…The facility (recharge) should be provided at the earliest,” said Kumar.

Some students at IIEST Shibpur in last September had requested the authorities to waive their tuition fees because “family earnings have been hit” by the pandemic. The annual tuition fees is Rs 1.25 lakh.

Another member of the students’ senate said, those who enjoy the 50 per cent fee waiver were finding it extremely difficult to pay even that amount.

“No wonder that they are finding it difficult to bear the costs of recharging data packs,” he said.

Oxygen concentrators

IIEST has received three oxygen concentrators from the alumni that would be used in the Covid-care unit the institute had set up last month.

After the institute struggled to get oxygen concentrators in Calcutta, Arindam Biswas, dean, International Relations and Alumni Affairs, had appealed to the alumni to donate oxygen concentrators for the unit.

“One donated by the Singapore-based alumni reached the institute last week. One sent by the global alumni association reached on Tuesday. The third one contributed by the 94-batch alumni is expected to reach in a day or two,” said Biswas.

Source: Telegraph

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