Indian Institute of Science (IISc) researchers, in collaboration with the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA), have developed an online self-assessment tool to help organizations understand their COVID-19 preparedness level, and plan pandemic-specific policies & practices.

Through this tool, the organisation's readiness scores under various sub-headings are displayed. Specific and general recommendations help the organisation understand their preparedness to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online tool called "COVID-19 Workplace Readiness Indicator" was developed as part of research efforts at the new Centre for Networked Intelligence (CNI) established at IISc with generous support under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from Cisco.

The tool also shows the organisation’s percentile with respect to other similar organisations. “Once enough organisations use the tool, each organisation can see where it stands among other organisations of the same kind. Such a comparison may induce organisations to be proactive and take more positive steps towards mitigating the pandemic,” says project lead Rajesh Sundaresan, Professor, Department of Electrical Communication Engineering, IISc.

To help organisations and agents navigate the difficult environment of pandemic and lockdowns, the COVID 19 Workplace Readiness Calculator provides not only a quantitative readiness score but also suggestions on measures so that they could relaunch economic activities in a safe and compliant manner.

“The tool not only scores an organisation’s readiness, but also provides some targeted suggestions if specific weaknesses are identified,” says Nihesh Rathod, a Cisco-IISc PhD scholar at the Department of Electrical Communication Engineering, IISc, who helped develop the tool.

The Government of Karnataka has recommended this advisory tool to various organisations in the state, as they begin operation in accordance with the Unlock-1 guidelines.

"The end of the lockdown does not automatically mean a return to the old ‘normal’ and the opening will take different shapes, with different regions and different business sectors opening up in different ways and at differing speeds," says Manoj Rajan, Commissioner, KSDMA. "Organisations will need to take a holistic approach to restarting. Emerging from the lockdown, companies and workplaces will need to be more vigilant about health and increase their demands on safety."

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