Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) and IIT Delhi have collaborated to help students complete their education during the coronavirus pandemic and to provide digital support to students from economically weaker backgrounds. The remaining two semesters of 2019-20 and the upcoming semester one and semester two of 2020-21 will be held online, according to IIT Delhi.
IIT Delhi will provide devices like smartphones, laptops, and high-speed internet connection as part of the initiative. The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation will fund the initiative to bolster this effort. Director of IIT Delhi, Prof V Ramgopal Rao, said that as a student-friendly institution, it believes that students in need must get all the necessary support. It was proposed in several discussions in the COVID-19 working group and other forums that they should support as many students as possible in order to overcome the challenges that they faced because of the pandemic.
Country Director for India from Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Geeta Goel said that there was a lack of access to a device can be the biggest hindrance to continued learning. She said that their partnership with the institute was anchored around their core principle of everyone deserving opportunity and that resources should not limit the success of students who have displayed tremendous grit and academic excellence in securing their seats at a premier institute like IIT Delhi.
Associate Dean, Students’ Welfare of IIT Delhi, Prof Reetika while elaborating upon this initiative said that the students were placed under all kinds of pressures ranging from strain on their mental and physical well-being, lack of personal space, economic distress to personal losses, etc. She said that collaborations like this will help in bridging the digital divide.