IIT-Bombay to hold 58th convocation ceremony online; students’ virtual avatars to be awarded degrees

On 23 August, more than 2,000 graduating students of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay will be receiving their degree. However, the convocation ceremony this year will be different from other times as it will be held virtually, or online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a report by The Indian Express, during the 58th convocation ceremony on Sunday, institute director Dr Subhasis Chaudhuri will give away degrees to student’s virtual images, created using their photographic details.

Nobel laureate for Physics in 2016 and professor of Physics at Princeton University, Duncan Haldane will be the chief guest of the ceremony. Medal winners will be receiving their awards from the avatar of the chief guest.

Students of the institute from across the country will also be taking a synchronised pledge at the end of the ceremony.

The convocation ceremony will be broadcast on DD Sahyadri, YouTube and Facebook from 1:30 pm on the same day.

A report by Hindustan Times quoted Dr Chaudhuri saying that the institute did not want students to miss out on any of the aspects of the convocation function.

Co-convenor of the convocation committee P Sunthar said that the entire IIT Bombay campus has been replicated in virtual reality. The departments, hostels and popular meeting points for students have been created virtually for the students so that they can engage and experience the convocation as they would have physically.

Students are elated by the prospect and are looking forward to the convocation ceremony.

The report mentioned a civil engineering graduate Charit Verma saying that the virtual convocation is a welcome move. However, his parents are disappointed that they will not have the opportunity to visit the institute.

The commencement speech of the ceremony will be delivered by chairperson, chief executive officer and co-founder of Blackstone Stephen Schwarzman.

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