What is in store for academic institutes in 2021 Most universities may avoid increasing the fee to ease the burden on parents and students c-Puniti.Pandey @timesgroup.com ith the experience and training gained in 2020, universities have now developed a better understanding to tackle uncertainties in 2021. Besides devising new modesto impart education, institutes are also planning toreopeninaphased manner for the new academic year. "Given the infrastructural development and training during 2020, our university is all set for 2021 session. While the teachers are now much more confident and efficient in conducting classes online, students in areas with poor connectivity are longing for a normallifeat campus. We plan toopeninaphased manner giving the final year students and the ones in areas with poor connectivity an opportunity to come back to the campus," says Jaskiran Arora, associate dean, BML Munjal University. Amity University aso comprehends on conducting hybrid classes this year. " A continuous review of the situation ls being carried out. Comprehensive e-content of all courses has been made available to the students before commencement of classes. Students belonging tothe science and technology domains and other domains that require physical presence will be provided with virtual labs. For research-based and lab-based courses, physical lab facilities wil be available to 50% of students at a time," says Balvinder Shukla, vice chancellor, Amity University. INT Naya Raipur will conduct the 2021 academic year DUNMTN CMD DEDODECCECAIT ATA! virtually. The institute has shifted the courses that require the mandatory physical presence of students to the nextsemester hoping thatthe students will then be present at the campus, says Pradeep K.Sinha, VC and director, IITNaya Raipur. Sona group of education institutions, Tamil Nadu will involve more project-based work and hands-on learning for the students this year. The exams wlll be conducted with the help of Al-enabled auto proctored system from remote locations, says Chocko Valliappa, vice chairman, Sona group of educational institutions. "The year 2020 has been atough year for most academic institutes. However, in the current situation, we are not planning to increase the fees as we do not want to increase any load on parents and students," says RL Raina, VC, JK Lakshmipat University, Jaipur. Togenerate morerevenue, the institutes are looking at starting some more courses for short term and long-term duration which can be delivered omline and offline, he adds.