Sunday, July 28, 2013

Convocation 2013

The 59th Convocation of IIT Kharagpur was held yesterday. Such a day is always special. More so for the parting message graduating students receive from the alma mater - the responsibility, the challenges ahead, the expectation around them and their role.

It was overwhelming that Honourable Higher Education Minister of the country in his message expressed 'regards' to the graduating batch. In his opening note his message was, "The stars of this convocation of course are graduating students and therefore I want to begin my talk by offering them heartiest congratulations, best wishes and regards."

And it was no surprise that he has high expectation from IITians. We heard, "IIT has presented us most successful model of empowering India’s youth. ..Students of IIT have a special place and also a responsibility since they symbolize India’s urge to become a technological superpower. I am certain that all of you are full of ambitious ideas for your future path. May your dreams come true. Look for the highest. Aim at the highest and you shall reach the highest. Remember “Education is the manifestation of perfection already in a man” and Character is the test of that manifestation. It is my firm belief that it is the contribution of the youth which is at the core of India’s rapid economic progress. While all of you have been fortunate enough to upgrade and empower yourselves to quality education and training, the path of social and economic revolution India is undergoing, there is a much larger segment of young Indians expecting to be a part of this process. We need to face the challenge for creating better access for young people for quality education and training and make them a part of the national development process to ensure an all inclusive growth. ..Let there be a smile in every Indian’s face.".

 This was echoed in the voice of Director, IIT Kharagpur. "Let there be a smile in every face of our countrymen. And let there be rays of hope scattering from every corner of the nation." At the end of the Convocation ceremony, new Director assumed responsibility.

Chairman of the Board of Governor was clear and direct. He was straight to the point when he said, "Now it is your turn to generate new and path-breaking ideas. Dear students, please remember, knowledge has no limit, no boundaries. Your quest for excellence must continue. You should not bask in the glory of your current achievements as that will soon become the past. This is what the IIT System teaches you…The country is looking at you with hope and expectation. You have all the talent an brilliance. .. You should use technical knowledge for the benefit of the people and create wealth for the nation…IIT degree holders, you will carry with you the spirit of IIT education system. From now on, you will be the brand ambassador of IIT Kharagpur in India and all over the world. Today is the beginning of new era of dissemination to follow for the passion of the profession of your choice. Dear students, honesty and integrity are two tools to give you mental strength. These two coupled with sincere effort effort will take you to the path of glory in your profession. In turn the country will benefit with the obstacles and challenges India is facing today will soon be overcome…. I would like to end with what Mahatma Gandhi said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. Education can end. But learning is a journey."

 Not only our outgoing students, we educators too got educated. Hope, we can build further on this.
The President Gold Medal (PGM) Holder conducted the oath in Sanskrit to all graduating students (youtube link). The chief guest told students if they understood the meaning of it - dedicating themselves to the service of the nation.

It was convocation lunch venue. PGM holder who happened to be from our Dept., came forward with his friend. Both tried to touch feet which I stopped somehow. And I had also the same to say - what is the meaning of the oath taken.

In the evening, attended the Sitar recital by maestro Pt. Sahid Parvez briefly, taking a detour from the evening walk. (The youtube video has glimpses of few of the events. Some of the photos is credited to one of my Dept. colleague <Link>. There may be error of 1-2 words from my side in taking down notes from the speech made.)


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