From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Apr 19: With the continuing surge of Corona virus infection cases in the Covid-19 pandemic’s Second Wave in Bengaluru and other parts of India causing immense anxieties among not just the healthcare and other authorities besides the educationists, more particularly students, teachers and professionals in the academic world, CHRIST University’s Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr (Fr) Abraham V M advocated the use of the strategy adopted by Pandavas in the epic Mahabharata to defeat the mighty `Narayana Astra’ deployed by Aswathama to overcome the pandemic.
In his message to the students and staff of CHRIST University on the occasion of the Gratitude Day, Fr Abraham recalled the incident of Aswathama deploying the deadliest Narayana Astra weapon against Pandavas in the epic Mahabharata to avenge the death of his father Dronacharya.
CHRIST University’s Vice Chancellor Dr (Fr) Abraham V M
While the destructive power of the Astra was known to all, it was Lord Krishna who saved the Pandavas as he knew that the weapon hits and turns the target into ashes only if the person was thinking of war and such other negative thoughts and confront it by staying in one place with positive thoughts and advised them accordingly. The Pandavas followed Krishna’s advice and stood in one place with folded hands chanting the name of Narayana, which resulted in the Astra passing them without hurting any of them.
Fr Abraham said the parallel of the Narayana Astra was very relevant in the battle against the Corona pandemic. “The Astra is the Corona virus, the battle field is the world we live in and we are all the warriors, the Astra is coming to. We should intensify physical distancing and quarantine measures. Restrict inter-state mobility and avoid large gatherings. Make the mask mandatory in public places and transportation. If we adhere to these measures religiously, we can avoid the Astra of Corona virus hitting us and the prolonged national lockdowns and the troubles from that,’’ he said asking all Christites to ‘Take care, stay safe and relax. CHRIST University is with you always’.
The Vice Chancellor said he was pleasantly surprised when the Student Council members of the CHRIST University came to wish him on the Gratitude Day to thank the management, Faculty and Non-Teaching Staff on campus for giving them not only academic continuity but also safety and security on campus just as they would receive at home.
Need for Caution during Second Wave
It is heartening to see the students gratefully appreciating all those instrumental in making their learning experience happen, he said adding: “That is when it struck me that very soon the curtains will come down on this academic year. While listening to the students, I also realised that they were anxious about their academic future especially now with the number of COVID-19 cases spiking in Bengaluru and medical experts globally talking about the Second Wave of the Pandemic. I fully understand that the perplexity of the students is not unfounded.’’
Fr Abraham said one of the important lesson that the pandemic has taught us the safety and security of everybody was dependant on themselves and all have to be vigilant and careful. "A little carelessness from us will pose great danger to others and we have learned to respect that intricate link that binds all of us together in the invisible chain of humanity,’’ he said pointing out that the University has been forced to rethink its strategies during the coming academic year carefully.
“We were all tempted with a premature celebration of the end of the pandemic in India, throwing caution to the wind. I must say that the second or the consequent waves should not intimidate us,’’ he said explaining that history of epidemiology was replete with several such pandemics in the past, the most notable and devastating being the Spanish Influenza during 1918-20.
“Just as we human beings are wired to live with undesirable elements, we don’t want anger, avarice and pride. So we must control and make it dormant in our personality. We should learn to control the Corona virus and make it dormant like we did for small pox or plague or cholera. For that it is necessary to take precautions and follow the Covid protocols,’’ said Fr Abraham.
3 CIMA Global Rank Winners
Fr Abraham proudly mentioned that the year 2020-21 had fantastic achievements for the University.
(From L to R): Namrata Upadhyay, Varshini Senthilkumar and Deena Suman
Three of the CHRIST University students - Vashini Senthil Kumar, Namrata Upadhyay and Deena Suman Sunil – have won Global Ranks from the prestigious Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK, the Vice Chancellor said profusely congratulating the students and the Department of Professional Studies Director Prof Biju Toms and Head of Department Dr Kavitha Desai.
Academic Year 2021-22
The Vice Chancellor explained that the University has decided to request the first-year students who attended offline classes on campus to return to the safety of their homes. All the course instructions of the ongoing semester and trimester are conducted online till the last instruction day. End Semester Examinations for the first-and the second-year students will be conducted from the last week of June or the first week of July. The Office of Examinations will intimate the students of the examination dates well in advance, he said.
Fr Abraham described the Academic Year 2020-21 as ‘rather strange’ as the University had to open the year with online classes, research and assessment. The feedback was one of satisfaction and academic fulfilment.
“We were careful in designing our policies and crisis response plans and all our measures were unanimously approved by our stake holders. By September 2020, however, we witnessed the pandemic slowly declining in the next five months and to resurface with dangerous vigour in mid-February 2021. While it declined and the nation was coming back to normalcy, we completed our first semester and were ready to begin the next, when we thought of welcoming our excited first-year students who wanted to see the campus and experience the campus life,’’ he explained.
“We had to put protocols in place to ensure their safety and security. It was not an easy task to develop Covid-19 protocols and guidelines for the vast campuses with multi-disciplinary programmes being run at the same time and excited first timers experiencing the campus, classes and peer interactions. Our greatest achievement was the way we conducted our hybrid teaching model doing justice to both our online and offline student community,’’ he said.
Keeping in mind the placements and the offer letters many final year students would have received by now, they have the option of writing the examinations in May or in June-July. There will be a common Convocation for those who take their examinations in May and June-July. As has been notified in February, the examinations will be conducted offline to protect the sanctity, and the integrity of the Examinations.
The University will take all possible precautions and put protocols in place to ensure safe examination environment. All notifications regarding your exams, internships and classes have been sent in advance and will continue to be so, giving adequate time to mentally and physically plan the course of action, Fr Abraham said.