Covid-19: Research, innovation thrive in educational institutes amid lockdown

New Delhi: Despite the second wave of the Covid pandemic and consequent lockdown, research in various educational institutes continued without any problem. Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and many other higher educational institutions were busy in world-class research, innovation and devising new curriculum and setting up new campus during these tumultuous times.
Amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, IIT-Ropar developed a device named 'Jeevan Vayu', which can be used as an alternative to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines. This is the first such device in the country that works without electricity and is optimized for both oxygen production units like oxygen cylinders and oxygen pipelines in hospitals. These facilities are not available in other existing CPAP machines.

During the current Covid wave, preparations were made to establish 'Energy Science and Engineering' department at IIT Delhi. This new undergraduate B. Tech programme in 'Energy Engineering' will be introduced from this year.

K.A. Subramanian, Head of Centre for Energy Studies (CES), IIT Delhi, said, "The B. Tech Energy Engineering degree programme aims at making easy access to energy, supply quality and reliability as well as improving efficiency, de-carbonization and reducing the cost of energy supply."

IIM-Ahmedabad is starting 'Ashank Desai Centre' for leadership and organizational development. Vishal Gupta, IIM-Ahmedabad lecturer, said, "The Ashank Desai Centre' aims to promote rigorous research and leadership and organizational development and research in the public, private and social sector. It also aims to create opportunities where faculty, practitioners and policy makers can come together."

In the middle of the second wave of the Covid-19, a Centre for Transport Research and Injury Prevention was set up at IIT Delhi. This centre will do research and in the field of road safety and modern road transport system. Hundreds of lives can be saved by this technology developed by IIT Delhi by reducing road accidents.

At the same time, alumni of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and IIT have created a start-up during the second wave of coronavirus. Under this startup, AIIMS alumni will impart training to the youth preparing for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for entry into top medical colleges across India. On the other hand, IIT alumni will help those youths who want to appear for Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for getting admission to top engineering colleges.

Alumni of AIIMS and IIT have come up with a solution through holding online crash course for a period of 45 days. Apart from this, Gurugram-based NorthCap University (NCU) has tied up with the US's Arizona State University (ASU), as a part of Cintana Alliance under the New Education Policy (NEP) announced in 2020. Cintana is a network of leading universities around the world that helps develop high-quality educational programs to meet the economic needs of other countries.

US News & World Report has ranked ASU as America's most innovative university for the past six years. Times Higher Education has also named it as one of the most prestigious universities in the world. ASU is the campus of America's largest engineering college. ASU's Thunderbird School of Global Management offering Master in Global Management has been ranked number one in the Times Higher Education-Wall Street Journal rankings.

Milind Padalkar, Pro Chancellor, NCU, said, "This tripartite agreement will focus on education, research and digital transformation. This will greatly benefit NCU students, teachers and the entire Indian innovation ecosystem."

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