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The IIT-Bombay held its 58th convocation on Sunday, wherein personalised student 'avatars' got felicitated personalised with their award degrees by the 'virtual figure' of the Director Suhasis Chaudhari. Besides them, the pictures and videos shared by the Institute and the government further showed the animated avatars of the Institute' senate members. This elaborate virtual ceremony has been recognised as the first of its kind across the globe.

A Virtual Convocation

The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay conducted its first virtual felicitation ceremony in its 62-year-old history! The chances of an organic felicitation were minimal this year in view of the coronavirus pandemic, therefore, a complete ceremony via 'virtual presence' was inducted in its place. This, unconventional virtual convocation of the IIT-B, has been described as a first of its kind.

The students were further allowed to further socialise with their batch-mates and faculty and roam around on a virtual campus, drop into their hostels and departments and virtually, bump into or meet their friends in this digitally devised forum. Therefore, a complete graduating experience was tailor-made for the graduating batch. "We thought it best to arrange such a virtual reality convocation so as not to put their health at risk, but simultaneously, not deprive them of the sense of achievement and pride of passing out of India's premier engineering institution," said an IIT-Bombay official.

Prof. Gardner, other members of IIT-Bombay's Board of governors and several other distinguished guests from India and abroad attended the convocation function online, besides the graduating students and their proud parents.

The chief guest of the prestigious virtual convocation was Prof Duncan Haldane, the co-recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics, and Stephen Schwarzman, Chairman and Co-Founder of Blackstone was the guest of honour. The usual flow of events was observed with Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri presenting the annual academic report for 2019-2020 and Prof. Haldane and Schwarzman addressing the graduating batch.

"Providing a virtual reality experience to all our graduates needed not only highly innovative steps but also a tremendous effort by our professors and staff. They did it for the students. Hopefully, this will enthuse our graduates as well as other engineers in the country to think big and think innovatively," remarked Professor Subhasis Chaudhuri.

Awards and Prizes

A total of 3 students were awarded gold medals for their exemplary academic performance. While the 'President of India Medal' was bestowed on Sahil Hiral Shah, a B.Tech student from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

Shashwat Shuka, an Electric Engineering student bagged the 'Institute Gold Medal (2018-19), while Prakash Singh Badal, a PhD student from the Department of Civil Engineering was acquitted with the 'Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma Gold Medal'. Additionally, departmental toppers were presented with silver medals by the chief guests.

Among the graduating lot, there were about 381 students pursuing a Doctorate and 33 for Joint Doctorates. About 18 students of Dual Degrees (M.Tech/M.Phil and PhD), 27 of Dual Degrees (M.SC and PhD.), within which, 39 research scholars were nominated for the 'Excellence in PhD Research' for 2018-2020.

The Joint PhDs, in association with Monash University, Australia, were conferred with their degrees by the President and Vice-Chancellor of Monash University Prof. Margaret Gardner. This year, one PhD degree under joint supervision with Washington University in St. Louis, US, and two Cotutelle PhD degrees, one each [in MTech+PhD and MSc+PhD programme] in agreement with University of Wollongong, Australia and with Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres in Canada were also awarded.

Besides these, 11 MS (by research), 6 Dual Degree (MSc+MTech), 621 MTech, 64 MDes, 20 MPhil, 110 MMgt, 225 two-year MSc, 2 five-year integrated MSc, 342 Dual Degree (BTech + MTech), 684 BTech Degrees, 10 Interdisciplinary Dual Degrees (BTech/ BS+MTech/ MSc), 20 Dual Degrees (BDes+MDes), 6 Dual Degrees (BS+MSc), 16 BS, 15 BDes, and 16 PGDIIT, were awarded at the Convocation.

-With inputs from IANS

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