Coronavirus: Use free time to hone skills like Newton did during London plague, IIT tells students

By: PTI | New Delhi |

Updated: March 23, 2020 4:46:57 pm


With classes and all other activities being suspended till March 31 due to coronavirus, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar has launched ‘Project Isaac’ to engage students (Representational image)

Utilise time at hand due to social distancing in view of coronavirus outbreak to hone new skills the way Isaac Newton did when he was sent home by Trinity college during the Great Plague of London, IIT-Gandhinagar has told its students.

With classes and all other activities being suspended till March 31 due to coronavirus, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar has launched ‘Project Isaac’ to engage students confined to their rooms or homes in productive activities.

“The project is inspired by Isaac Newton who 350 years ago was similarly sent home by Trinity College, Cambridge, because of the Great Plague of London in 1665. It was during this year that Newton, then a 22-year-old college student, developed some of his most profound discoveries, including early calculus, as well his theories of optics and gravity,” Sudhir K Jain, Director, IIT Gandhinagar told PTI.

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“I have suggested all students and faculty members to take inspiration from Newton and use the forced confinement caused by coronavirus to do wondrous things,” he added.

Jain asked students to use the extended break wisely, to dream ambitiously or to cultivate or hone new skills in writing, painting, music, coding and creative expression.

“We will plan to recognise and celebrate the best and most creative work products generated by students during this period when the institute reopens,” he added.

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The institute has launched “12 days of code” programme in which students will work for 24 hours on new coding problems released daily.

“Other activities being done during the project include ‘Leadership Video Challenge’ where students will watch handpicked Ted talks on leadership and write 50-100 word comments, which will be rewarded for thoughtfulness and quality,” Jain said.

“Another activity is ‘Don’t Quarantine Your Cornia!’ in which students are writing reviews of TV shows, movie, documentary or web series of their choice,” Jain added.

According to health ministry, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 390 on Monday after 30 fresh cases were reported. The figure includes 41 foreign nationals and the seven deaths reported so far.

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