IITs opt for virtual convocation ceremoniesUpdated: Aug 13, 2020 15:35 IST
Graduating students of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will miss out on the experience of walking up a stage to get their degrees or the ceremonial tossing of hats in the air this year, as the institutes have opted for virtual convocation ceremonies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 58th convocation ceremony of IIT-Bombay (IIT-B) will be held virtually on August 23, keeping in mind the safety of students, announced director Subhasis Chaudhuri. “We will have two very distinguished guests of honour. The chief guests for the event are Stephen Schwarzman, founder and chief executive officer of Blackstone Group, and Duncan Haldane, professor at Princeton University and 2016 Nobel laureate in Physics,” he said.
While Schwarzman will deliver the commencement speech, Haldane will deliver the chief guest’s speech. Graduating students will participate via video conferencing, and the entire event will be webcast for public viewing.
This is the first time IIT-B will hold a virtual convocation ceremony, with over 2,100 students graduating in various programmes, said P Sunthar, co-convenor of the convocation committee.
“Since the convocation will be held online, we are currently working out ways to make the event a memorable one for all graduates, despite not being present on campus. Meanwhile, we do understand that all our graduates want to have a gala end-of-school bash, and we will organise a special get-together for the entire batch once the pandemic is over,” said Chaudhuri.
IIT-Madras will also conduct an online convocation ceremony. “IIT-Madras has already decided that the convocation this year will be held online, keeping in mind the current Covid-19 situation. The dates, however, are yet to be determined. Tentatively, the ceremony will be held sometime in September 2020,” said a spokesperson for IIT-Madras.
IIT-Gandhinagar, too, will hold its ninth annual convocation ceremony online on August 23. In an invitation sent to all students, the institute clarified that owing to the current situation, the ceremony will be streamed live on the institute’s homepage, their YouTube channel and Facebook page.
“Nandan Nilekani, chairman and co-founder of Infosys Limited will be our chief guest, and we invite all our well-wishers to be with us,” said Sudhir Jain, director of the institute.
Meanwhile, several IITs are still mulling on how their convocation ceremonies will be held. Spokespersons for both IIT-Delhi and IIT-Roorkee clarified that the institutes were yet to confirm the status of their convocation ceremonies.
While IIT Guwahati has decided that the convocation ceremony will be held online in the month of September, no formal date has been announced as yet. Similarly, the administration of IIT Mandi told HT that they are still accessing the Covid-19 situation and yet finalise a date for the same.