With the covid-19 pandemic's second wave approaching its peak in some cities / states, we are witnessing headwinds in the form of incidence of Black Fungus and White Fungus. The Central Government through the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has made the infection caused by Black Fungus notifiable and has urged States to declare the disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897. This would make it mandatory for states to report both suspected and confirmed cases to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP).
States like Rajasthan and Telangana have already declared Black Fungus an epidemic and following the Central Government's urging, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Gujarat and the UT of Chandigarh followed suit.
This is a new challenge to people, medicos and policy-makers. Even before the second wave of the Covid 19 pandemic is brought under control, there are reports of black fungus infection causing serious health complications. This incidence of Black Fungus among people who have recently recovered from Covid 19 is apparently peculiar to India and according to experienced medical professionals, it is attributable to the indiscriminate over-use of steroids / medicines.
While the situation is precarious, it is worth taking note that this ongoing season of May and June are important for the education sector at - large. We have come to witness some interesting announcements and activity.
The Union Minister for Education has held interactions (on May 20) with Directors of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs), National Institute of Technology (NITs), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs). Agenda of this interaction included measures to manage the effects of covid-19, online learning and status of implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP 2020). One of the important takeaways: the announcement by the Minister is that the famed top institutions of higher learning in the country - IISc Bangalore and IIT Kharagpur, will soon start courses in medical sciences.
IIM Nagpur - Executive Education in partnership with Jaro Education is to introduce four new techno-functional PG Certificate programmes to equip working professionals. These 4 programs are anticipated to help professionals in business management, marketing, information technology and financial technologies (fintech). The duration of these programs range between 9 to 12 months and would be handled by the experienced faculty of IIM Nagpur and Industry Professionals.
- Post Graduate Certificate in Business Management for IT Professionals (BMIT) is 12 months program costing INR 3,06,800/- (incl GST) and Programme Directors Prof. Atul Arun Pathak & Prof. Kapil Kaushik would lead this offering.
- Post Graduate Certificate Programme in Data Science for Business Excellence and Innovation (DBI) is a 12 months program costing INR 2,77,300 (incl GST) with Prof. Kapil Kaushik & Prof. Sayantee Jana in the lead as Programme Directors.
- Post Graduate Certificate Programme in Financial Technologies (FinTech) is a 12 month program costing INR 2,65,500 (incl GST) with Prof. Nilesh Gupta & Prof. Kinshuk Saurabh serving as Programme Directors and lead this offering.
- Post Graduate Certificate Programme in Digital Strategy and Marketing Analytics (DMA) is a 9 month program costing INR 2,65,500 (incl GST) with Prof. Aruna Tatavarthy & Prof. Ranjitha G P serving as Programme Directors and lead this offering.
While the pandemic is overwhelming and causing huge loss to lives and livlihoods, it is notable to see the ever compassionate Dr. Achyuta Samata, Founder of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), an Institution of Eminence and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) and currently serving as our Parliamentarian, have extended their bit to alleviate suffering of people caused by the pandemic, especially the ongoing second wave. Under the close involvement and active support of the Founder, the poor and destitute in 13 districts of the State of Odisha are being served cooked lunch.