The fourth issue of Ideas from IIMA comes to you at a time when the entire world is trying to cope with a crisis that is unlikely to abate very soon. Educational institutions world-wide have been forced to question their ways of functioning and to visualize new futures for themselves. IIMA is no exception-over the past few months we have been engaged in designing short-term responses to the immediate impact of the crisis on program schedules, student learning and the safety of the physical campus. At the same time, we have been discussing the longer-term implications of the crisis for our educational approach, the role of technology in learning and the organization of new educational opportunities for our students. So much for the institutional response to the crisis. What have our faculty members been doing, apart from participating in the development of the institutional responses to the crisis? Their response has been no different from what an earlier generation of faculty members did when the Institute had to deal with humanitarian crises. For instance, in 2001, when a devastating earthquake struck the state of Gujarat where the Institute is located, faculty members responded by forming IIMACORE (IIMA Community Earthquake Reconstruction Effort), which, for five weeks worked nearly round the clock organizing a variety of relief activities; in addition, individual faculty members carried out independent work in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and for months afterwards. This time, in response to the Covid-19 crisis, faculty members (and staff and students) have been engaged in direct action, both online and offline, and have leveraged their expertise to contribute a range of academic articles, reports, podcasts, and other material.
The Institute has created a dynamic IIMA Covid-19 page on the Institute's website to function as a repository of these Covid-specific contributions of IIMA faculty members. The contributions are classified under different heads: Research articles, General articles, Webinars, Podcasts, Media Reports, and Reaching Out. 'Reaching out' presents the details of the community work carried out by a team of students and faculty members, drawn from the social outreach entities within the Institute: SMILE (Student-Mediated Initiative for Learning to Excel, an initiative to support the learning of school students belonging to socio-economically marginalized communities), PRAYAAS, a student-run activity that facilitates the admission of bright poor children to private schools and provides supplementary education to them, and RTERC (Right to Education Resource Centre) that undertakes a variety of Right to Education Act-related activities.
Ideas from IIMA, as a newsletter of the faculty, is ideally placed to connect you with this repository. This time, therefore, we break from our usual pattern of having features like 'Ideas for Practice' and 'From the Classroom', to present you with the link to the IIMA Covid-19 page:
Please do follow the link to get an idea of the Covid-specific work that our faculty members have been engaged in. We hope to return to our usual format with the next issue of the newsletter. In the meantime, we wish all our readers a safe and productive adjustment to the Covid-19 crisis situation.