Recent figures released by the UNESCO indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic has aﬀected almost 1.37 billion students across the world – this comprises 90% of all enrolled students in around 138 countries. This pandemic could be the biggest health crisis faced by humankind over the past century. In Indian higher education institutions (HEIs), the crisis has impacted new admissions, examinations, student internships, placements and student mobility. An eﬀective strategy is necessary to minimise the adverse impact of the pandemic.
Towards this goal, the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) has undertaken several initiatives to support Member Universities to minimise the impact of COVID-19. These include online faculty development training for online teaching, national and international webinars, leadership talks and online workshops on themes such as assessment and evaluation, and fostering social responsibility among others. An online survey of HEIs is also being conducted to gauge the preparedness of Indian HEIs for online teaching.
A significant initiative has been a collaboration that the AIU has undertaken with the O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed To Be University) to produce the “COVID-19 Response Tool Kit for Indian Higher Education Institutions”, which has been developed to help build Institutional Resilience for Academic Planning and Continuity. The document can be used as a reference point and checklist by universities, colleges and standalone institutions to enable a more eﬀective and planned reopening, ensuring that critical institutional aspects are addressed and necessary measures are considered to maintain academic continuity.
We hope that the academic community and higher education leaders will find the document useful in navigating their institutions towards a more resilient future.
This document hopes to serve as a checklist so that HEIs do not miss taking decisions on crucial aspects of operations and can coordinate effectively and efficiently to carry out their tasks concerning academic affairs during and post COVID-19.