14th, April, 2020 Bangalore:The prolonged lockdown due to Corona Virus COVID-19 is a great learning experience at Amity, and a wake-up call to boost the security measures for any future microbial virus attack. We need to make our campuses free from such attacks in future and thus the necessary preparation in regards to microbial security should be made now that the Corona Virus has made a great disruption of the economic activity due to complete lockdown of establishments in almost all the countries of the world.
Among other measures we need to draw SoPs for microbial safeguards for industries, corporate and also for the educational institutions to prevent entry of infected goods once lockdown is removed by the government, says Prof PB Sharma Vice Chancellor Amity University, Gurugram.
Merely screening people at the entry points for arms and ammunition or prohibited items is not enough as the power of microbes has been proved to be far more devastating than the guns and missiles as has been seen during the Corona Virus crisis.
India has undoubtedly handled the Corona Virus crisis very well for a country of 1.3 billion people with much lower number of infected cases and deaths. But we need to now onwards put in place not merely precautionary but stringent measures to safeguard our establishments and people from any future crisis hurled by virus outbreak.
The educational institutions including the universities have done undoubtedly very well in respect of online classes and online assessments and the faculty has shown a great commitment to utilise the connectivity and e- resources to sustain the learning environment during the lockdown period. A lot of lessons are learnt to further enhance the efficacy of digital learning and to train our students and faculty to work from home during such lockdown. Even otherwise the future of jobs tomorrow would require many professionals to work from their home in the digital work environment in India and across the globe.
As the students, faculty and staff return to campus once the lockdown of the universities and colleges is withdrawn, it would be necessary to place scanners and sanitizers at entry points and for a few weeks observe all the necessary precautions as were mandated for preventing the spread of the Corona Virus, including wearing of masks, social distancing in office sitting places and also a much higher level of health and hygiene protocol.
The government of India and its funding agencies for Research are also well advised to fund more liberally the research on microbial kingdom of which Corona Virus is only one part, but with the tacit condition of ensuring relevance of research to strengthen India for any future microbial crisis management.
In Amity University we have taken major initiatives to integrate research with education and to engage our research driven faculty into cutting edge R&D and Patenting of technology and knowhow to strengthen India’s IPR power. Even during the lockdown period, apart from conducting online classes, the faculty has made great contributions to high impact research publication, bidding for R&D funding and patenting of technology and know-how.
The scientists in Indian universities have a great research acumen and their research and development capabilities should be harnessed in our universities within the country in institutions of higher learning by instituting Post-Doctoral Fellowships and by providing liberal support for Solution Research, says Prof PB Sharma who is the past President of Association of Indian Universities, AIU and also the Founder Vice Chancellor of DTU and RGTU.