Calcutta University resumes practical classes

Calcutta University resumes practical classes

January 18, 2021
Mita Mukherjee

Calcutta University in West Bengal resumed chemistry practical classes for postgraduate students after nearly ten months on Monday.

Students who are in their third semester are only being allowed to attend the chemistry practical classes and in small batches, a senior official of the university said on Monday.

Calcutta University (CU) is the first among nearly 30 state-aided universities in Bengal to start practical classes for its postgraduate students after all educational institutions had shut down in March.  

CU vice-chancellor Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee had said on January 11 that the postgraduate departments of the university would be permitted to hold practical classes in small batches following Covid-19 protocols.

In the circular to the departments the university had said that the practical classes could be held if the students agreed to attend the campuses.

Nearly all students of the chemistry department have agreed to attend the practical classes, the CU official said.   

The CU physics department will also start its practical classes for the third semester students on January 20. Some more departments of the university including the zoology and environment science departments have planned to start conducting the practical classes from February 1.

Shyamal Chakrabarti, a professor of CU chemistry department said all possible steps were being taken to ensure that students and teachers do not get infected with the disease.

The entire third semester batch has been divided into eight groups.

“Two huge laboratories have been allotted for the students for doing the practical classes. Not more than ten students will be allowed to do practical classes in a single laboratory. This measure has been taken to ensure that sufficient distance is maintained between two students when they do the experiments,” Chakrabarti told EducationWorld.

The students of first semester have also urged the university to resume the practical classes for them.

But the university does not want to ask them to attend the campuses now because not a single practical class has been held for the first semester students since they joined.

The first semester students are new in the laboratories and they need special attention for making them familiar with the apparatus they would use in the laboratories.

The university was still not ready with the arrangements to ask the first semester students to attend the laboratories, the official said.       

Sudipta Bandyapadhyay, an associate professor of CU physics department said the arrangements to start the practical classes for the third semester students were almost ready.

“Students have been asked to study the manual provided to them thoroughly before coming to the practical class so that they can spend the time in the laboratory in only doing the experiments and calculations. This will also help them to complete the practical work in less time,” said Bandyopadhyay.

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