IIIT-D marks 2nd convocation; Students react with mixed emotions

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Convocation is one of the most important events in every student’s life, an occasion which leaves them overwhelmed with emotions but at the same time instills zeal to face the professional world outside. 

This was what all attendees witnessed during the just-concluded 2nd convocation of the IIIT-D, where the Chief Guest was Prof Dinesh Singh, Vice Chancellor of the Delhi University,  who along with IIIT-D Board of Governors’ Chairman Mr Kiran Karnik and Director Prof Jalote, addressed a packed conference hall, exhorting students to adhere to integrity and discipline, and pay back to society.

After the August 25 convocation ceremony, Raghav Sethi, a B.Tech graduate, said the event evoked mixed emotions. “I was despondent that my stint at IIIT-D was finally over and that I wouldn't see my batch-mates for long periods. But I was also deeply motivated by Dr. Singh's address and honoured to receive the All-Round Performance medal from Mr. Karnik. The event marked the ending of one of the best periods of my life - I sometimes wish I could join again as a bright-eyed first-year  student  and experience it all again.”

On his medal, he said IIIT-D faculty and staff encouraged him to contribute to many fields where he was skilled at or wanted to develop skills.  “I am both grateful and honoured to receive the medal.”

In his remarks, Raghav’s father Mr Sanjay Sethi said: “The institution has emerged as one of the finest in the country and the recent convocation reflected the distance IIIT-D has covered in a short span of 5 years since its inception. Both, the Chairman and the Chief Guest spoke eloquently and their message will definitely resonate with the students and encourage them to excel in their chosen fields and to give back to the institution as well as their country.”

Mrs. Sujata Sethi, Raghav’s mother who was also present during the convocation, said:  “For many of us it was the first occasion where we visited the new campus fully and interacted with the faculty members, and it was a great feeling to see our children graduate from such a fine institution.”

Shruti Sharma, an M.Tech graduate, said she felt great that she has earned her degree. She was also all praise for the speeches delivered at the convocation, calling them “inspiring”.

Her mother Rekha Sharma said the Institute was doing very well and has come a long way since its establishment in 2008. “I am really happy that my daughter has graduated from such a fine institution.”

For Shiva Lavaria, a B.Tech graduate, the convocation evoked mixed feelings as was the case with most of others. “I am happy that I am starting a new life, but the thought of leaving the institute has made me a bit emotional.”

Shiva’s father Mr Krishan Gopal said he was glad that his son chose IIIT Delhi over other institutions for his B.Tech. “This is a very good institution. I am extremely satisfied with it.”

Earlier during his address at the convocation, Chief Guest Prof Singh mesmerized the audience with his moving statements. All graduating students heard him in rapt attention as he said, “You (students) must have integrity and you must adhere to discipline… Do not ever think you have made it on your own. Pay your debt to society, which shaped you.”

Education is a long journey to discover your inner self, Prof Singh said. “You don’t become educated by just earning degrees, you become educated when you listen to your antar-dhwani  (inner voice). Lord Buddha didn’t go to any university. If you believe he was uneducated, then you should not believe in anything.  (Great scientist) Michael Faraday had no formal education, he understood his inner voice. (Mahatma) Gandhi had said ‘for an atheist, it is atheism that is his religion and it will take him to his God’.”

Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar would practice 6-8 hours daily during his school days because he wanted to be a batsman,  Prof Singh noted.  “Amitabh Bachchan , from his first day as an actor, was the first person to arrive at the studio. He rehearsed the script before each scene a 100 times. I had once asked him when you set forth for Mumbai leaving your corporate job did you have any idea that you would become a leading man? To which, he replied ‘I had no idea I would become a leading man. I just wanted to act.’ Because of his great adherence to his inner belief, he rose,” said the DU Vice Chancellor.

Calling IIIT-D a “nascent, young and vibrant institution”, he told B-Tech and M-Tech graduates that this institute “has set benchmarks for others to emulate, to pay attention to.”

IIIT-D Board of Governors’ Chairman Mr Kiran Karnik, in his message on the occasion, said: “Few institutions can claim to have established a reputation for themselves in such a short period of time. Simultaneously, a lot of effort has been devoted to creating the physical infrastructure in our (IIIT-D) campus,” which is spread over 25 acres of land in Okhla phase-III.

To the graduating students, Mr Karnik said “you step into a world which is uncertain... you have to cope with new realities. Unless you renew yourself and keep learning more, you’ll become obsolete.”

In his address, Prof Jalote said: “Research remains a key focus for the Institute and we support and encourage our faculty to take up interesting challenges and projects.”

“This year, we mark our 5th anniversary… I believe our main overall achievement has been to lay strong foundations – we have developed rigorous academic programmes, evolved a strong research and PhD programme, built an academic culture and environment which encourages people to excel and take up challenges, and have established a good administrative set-up.”