In this interview Dr H Chaturvedi, professor and director of Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH) elaborates how the PostCovid will be for the Indian education sector. Also sharing the key social work undertaken during the lockdown. Excerpts:
How lockdown and Covid-19 will impact the education ecosystem in India?
There will be a paradigm shift in the education sector. India will face a big dilemma. Most of teaching will be done online but the students from poor sections will not be able to use it. Already in our country, we have a digital device Digital Divide but post COVID-19, this divide will be further accentuated.
As an educationist, how do you see the PostCovid of education in India?
It is hoped that during the next 3-4 months, all pending examinations and class work will be completed. Next academic session in universities and colleges will start most likely in September, 2020. But the most difficult challenge will be to make premises of schools, colleges and universities compliant to guidelines for COVID-19. To conduct both offline and online classes will be difficult. Implementing social dispensing norms will be an uphill task.
How badly, it is going to affect the economy of the world and especially India.
Indian and global economies will be adversely impacted. Most likely, it will be a scenario similar to post World War-II or even worse than it. Due to a contraction in the economy, there will be huge losses of jobs. Stark poverty, hunger, destitution and malnutrition among children will be the future realities.
What are the learning?
Adaptability with the New-Normal will have to be learnt by all nations and society. To fight epidemics like COVID-19, all nations will have to work in a collaborative manner. Along with food, work, clothing and housing, public health will be part of human needs.
According to you, how does a B-School have to play a role in Covid-19 like a nationwide crisis?
A B-School like us can do a lot in their neighbourhood community by providing food to the vulnerable sections of society. We have done it through Bimtech Foundation and the Ranganathan Society for Library Development and Social Welfare, two NGOs run by our faculty, staff and students. We are also working in close coordination with the district administration and the civil society to fight the menace of COVID-19.
Kindly provide details of your Covid-19/lockdown relief works.
By making a long term plan, we have started our activities in verticals (i) Food for All: providing cooked food to around 500 people in nearby communities and helping local administration by providing them “Chapattis” for 1500 people on a daily basis. (ii) Muskan: under this vertical, providing milk and biscuits to 100 children on a daily basis. (iii) Jagrati or Awareness: our team is distributing soaps, sanitizers, masks and making the community aware with the Govt. schemes and importance of social distancing and cleanliness and (iv) Livelihood Project: under this scheme, some SHG’s of corona effected ladies have been formed and they have been given some work, so that they can earn by living at home.
What should be the role of civil societies to fight this disaster?
Since civil societies work very closely with society so can play a very important role in fighting this disaster and infect they are doing a very tremendous job. NGO/ CS can do a real need assessment, identify the actual cluster where different types of support is required and make a help Govt. in making a pool of different service supporting agencies. Can help Govt. by providing an actual picture so that support can reach to each and individual needy person.
Education, PostCovid World, BIMTECH, Dr. H Chaturvedi, Interview, Rusen Kumar