IIT-Bombay holds convocation event in 'virtual reality' mode; 2,404 students graduate
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Over 2,404 students of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-Bombay) received their degrees on the 58th Convocation ceremony conducted online on Sunday via virtual reality (VR) mode. Focus on digital technology and extensive research was the message given to students as they attended the live ceremony with their family members through DD Sahyadri channel, YouTube, Facebook and mobile app.

This year, the graduating students included 381 Doctor of Philosophy (PhDs), 18 dual degree (MTech/MPhil+PhD) and 27 dual degrees (MSc+PhD). Out of these, 39 research scholars were selected for the award of ‘Excellence in PhD Research' for the year 2018-20. In addition, 33 joint PhD degrees, in association with Monash University, were also conferred by the Vice-Chancellor and President of Monash University Margaret Gardner. Also, one PhD degree under joint supervision with Washington University in St. Louis, USA, and two Cotutelle PhD degrees, one each [in MTech+PhD and MSc+PhD programme] in agreement with University of Wollongong, Australia and with Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières in Canada were also awarded.

Besides these, 11 MS (by research), six dual degree (MSc+MTech), 621 MTech, 64 MDes, 20 MPhil, 110 MMgt, 225 two-year MSc, two 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.

This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation, the institute conducted the annual convocation ceremony online. In order to enhance the experience, personalised animated avatars of students were created which were accessed by students using a specialised mobile app.

According to the director's annual report, Rs 70422.00 lakh was received as grant-in aid from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for the year 2019-20.

Subhasis Chaudhari, director of IIT Bombay, said, “Producing top quality graduates who would be future leaders in the industry, research and academia is the primary goal of IIT Bombay. 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 graduates as well as other engineers in the country to think big and think innovatively."

The chief guest for the convocation, Professor Frederick Duncan Michael Haldane, FRS, said, “There is a lesson for everyone involved in the research. Even if you are involved in a very goal-driven project, try to find some small share of your time to investigate unexpected curiosities that sometimes show up along the way."

Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone, said, “India occupies a unique position in the world today, especially when it comes to technology, where it has established global leadership through its talent. Of the 72 Indian-origin engineers who have founded unicorns across the world, 50 per cent are IIT alumni."

The ‘President of India Medal’ was bestowed on Sahil Hiral Shah, a B.Tech student from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The Institute Gold Medal (2018-19) was awarded to Shashwat Shukla, a student from the Department of Electrical Engineering.

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