The World has seen paradigm shifts in society and business by unprecedented events and circumstances forced by experimentation around new ideas. It has happened after Spanish flu, World War II, Y2K problem and several such events. This time the entire world is undergoing lockdown due to COVID-19 leading to lockdown of economies, businesses, societies and the way human lived a normal life. The buzz word is ‘New Normal’ for society and business.
The Corona Virus Pandemic is here to stay atleast till the vaccine or cure is found. The World Health Organization recently stated that we have to learn to live with the virus as the cure is no sooner expected.
This has impacted the way Higher Education was provided. Within a month almost all the Universities and Institutions switched to Online Teaching to engage students in lockdown, to cover-up syllabus and ensure that academic calendars are maintained. This happened inspite of teachers not trained for online teaching, no quality guidelines for online delivery and inappropriate IT gazettes and tools both at the end of students and teachers. It had been a bumpy ride but human spirit helped overcome this challenges. After Teaching, conducting examination online came as a second challenge which the HEIs addressed with blended models to reach their ground realities. HEIs, Statutory bodies, Students, Parents and Employers are having their share of experiences to reflect on given a New Normal for Higher Education.
Due to prevailing rules and regulations of lockdown and induced COVID fear , the permanent need for Social Distancing, wearing of mask, regular sanitization and opening and closing of areas turning red zones, HEIs can no sooner expect regular operations as was in Before Corona (BC) era. Hostels will remain deserted and parents preferring the students to remain at safety of home rather than taking risks of infection in transportation, hostels, food areas and classrooms.