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A Pandemic Convocation

According to the Semester Schedule, Convocation for the graduating batch is to take place on November 7, 2020. Although no official communication has been made until now, the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country leaves no other choice but to conduct the ceremony virtually. IIT Bombay held its online convocation in August and awarded degrees to the digital avatars of students. Other IITs like Kanpur and Madras too have announced similar plans.

BSP recently conducted a survey to know whether graduating students from our institute prefer an offline or an online convocation. The results of the survey, which collected 790 responses, can be found in the following pictures.

A whopping 90% of students expressed the desire to have an offline convocation with physical participation rather than accepting the degrees virtually, while around 84% do not want an online convocation.

An outgoing student expressed his views, saying “Certain important and memorable moments of life are created during the last phase of college days, and we missed them because of this pandemic, and I am not ready to lose one such precious moment again. Convocation is a special festival for engineers”. Many are demanding a memorable and happy ending to their four years of IIT, stating that the convocation would be the last event in which they could meet their batchmates and professors. Having missed various events like Director’s Dinner and Batch Photoshoots, they felt they deserved a final memorable goodbye. “We would want to spend this moment physically with our friends/family rather than sitting at home and watching a screen of us getting our degrees virtually,” said a batch of 2020 student.

Some suggested holding separate department wise convocations on different dates so as to avoid crowding and help in maintaining precautionary measures. They believe this would give them a chance to end their journey on a memorable note with their friends and family, in a conventional-style convocation ceremony and bid a final adieu to their beloved institute and one of the most exhilarating phases of their life.

Some people, however, want the ceremony to be conducted virtually in November itself. They reasoned that the coronavirus is raging, and since there is no end to the pandemic in sight, it is better to be done with the whole process as soon as possible. Many also expressed the need to get their ‘actual degrees’ as soon as possible, for they need to submit it to employers/visa authorities, saying that provisional degrees were not being accepted everywhere. The solution to this may be that official degrees be sent to the students, while the ceremony itself can take place physically as and when the situation improves.

54% of students are okay with holding the ceremony even next November, although the reduced acceptance of this option indicates students are looking for an early but physical convocation when the institute reopens.


Covered By Naman and Jaskeen

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