A deadly health pandemic, more than 2500 students and faculties sitting at home and education coming to a complete halt. One management institute (School of Management Sciences, Varanasi), 25 years old NAAC ‘A’ graded adopted a different approach altogether. Instead of succumbing to the epidemic, the institute upgraded its virtual learning infrastructure with innovations. The objective was crystal clear. None of the students of the institute should feel devoid of learning process similar to offline classes. In a record-breaking time, the institute developed MOODLE- an advanced E-learning technique. Through this ‘learning management system’ course materials were digitally provided to the students.
Right from the first locked down period, online classes have been running full-bore. The meticulous and strategic planning of the faculties of SMS paid off. And soon more than 2500 students from all the nine courses were feeling alive and agile again. Live sessions, regular assignments, assessments, and virtual exposure of industry professionals added to the innovation. Transcending the connectivity issues in the region, SMS provided the students with all kinds of assistance needed for their studies. Institute was also very careful that the digital classes don’t become hazardous for the mental and physical health of the students.
Apart from the online classes more than one dozen national and international webinars organized by IQAC (Internal Quality Assurance Cell) cell of SMS was a completely novel experiment ever conducted in Eastern Uttarpradesh by any other institute. From media professionals, management professionals, social scientists, techies, business barons to the spiritual personas, everyone contributed with their thoughts and experiences in the webinars.
The institute with its four bi-annual journals including Scopus indexed journal has proved to be exemplary in developing entrepreneurship skills and imparting digital education in a region where resources are scarce and opportunities limited. “To be a part of self-reliant India (Atmnirbhar Bharat), we need to think beyond limitations and transform scarcity into opportunity”, said Dr. MP Singh, the executive secretary of the School of Management Sciences. The director of Institute Prof PN Jha has been mentoring all the digital innovations that the institute is experimenting in times of Covid-19 crisis.