It is my pleasure to welcome another batch of new students to Gurudas College for the academic session of 2020-2021. It has been a difficult and unusual year for all of us, living through a global pandemic. The experience of lockdown, social distancing, and the spectre of human misery across the world has been a haunting experience for all of us. The Gurudas College community has experienced its share of losses. We collectively mourn those whom we have lost to the pandemic.

The experience of the Cyclone Amphan was yet another shock for the people of West Bengal. The Gurudas College premises were battered by the cyclone as well and undertook considerable infrastructural damage because of the same.

Amidst all this, life goes on. In the words of Rabindranath Tagore, our guiding spirit, “Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them.” And so we have risen to the challenge of the pandemic and natural disasters through switching to online teaching. Our teachers have developed unique strategies to engage with students in this period, keeping in mind the different needs of different student groups, and the reality of India’s digital divide. The college has acquired a dedicated online education platform in order to ensure live streaming and recording of classes for future playback. Teachers have combined the use of the formal platform with informal modes, such as WhatsApp groups, to ensure that students on the less fortunate side of the digital divide are not penalized for the same.

The 2020-2021 academic session will also witness the roll out of the third year of CBCS. With this, the college will now be teaching in the CBCS mode across all three years.

Gurudas College strongly promotes all round development, which is why we host seminars and events across the year. This year, due to the pandemic, we have switched to webinars, and have hosted a series of speakers on diverse and exciting topics. We have also taken the opportunity to transform the GDC Media YouTube channel to a lively and active channel in the process. Even difficult times come with new learning opportunities, and I am proud to proclaim that the Gurudas College community has stood up to these challenges.

Gurudas College has a zero tolerance policy on ragging. The college’s Anti-Ragging Cell takes swift action if any such incident is reported. The college also has an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) constituted under the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, of 2013. We take pride in being an inclusive, holistic spacefor our students, and any form of abuse – online or offline – will not be tolerated.

It is unfortunate that we will not yet meet the incoming batch of 2020 in person, but students can rest assured that the college will deliver the best possible education and support within the restrictions of the pandemic.