IIT Bombay Holds its 57th Convocation; HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ was the Chief Guest

Mumbai: The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) today held its 57th Convocation, at the Convocation Hall of IIT Bombay. Shri. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Union Minister of Human Resource Development, was the Chief Guest and delivered the Convocation Address.

In his address, the Minister told the students that education is a weapon using which they can transform their life, family and society. He said that convocation is a momentous occasion when students embark on the journey of taking the fruits of education to the outside world. The Minister said that culture should be joined with education, so that the individual has an enduring and firm foundation for growth.

Shri Nishank said that the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has set the goal of establishing India as the world leader in education in the next five years. He said the IITs have an important role to play in the realization of this goal. He exhorted the students to bring light where there is darkness anywhere in the world. He encouraged the students to dream and to commit every moment of their life for the realization of their dreams.

Congratulating IIT Bombay for being ranked among the top 200 in the QS world university rankings, he asked the community to aim higher. IIT Bombay can render a significant contribution in addressing the challenges of climate change and in fulfilling development goals such as increasing India’s renewable energy capacity, he said.

Stating that programmes such as Make in India, Digital India, Startup India and Standup India are transformative schemes, the Minister said that India has now become the world’s favourite investment destination. Shri Nishank also spoke of various initiatives being taken by the Government, to transform the field of education. Saying that little things can make a big difference, he asked the students to plant a sapling on their birthday every year and to conserve water.

On the occasion, Minister inaugurated Hostel No.18 and planted a tree on the IIT Bombay campus. Earlier, the Minister held a live interaction via National Knowledge Network, with students of all IITs, on the topic ‘Navbharat ka Nirman IITs ke Sath’. Speaking on the subject, the Minister said that India has had a legacy of providing leadership to the world in the sphere of knowledge and science. He said that IIT students need to ensure that India continues to play this leadership role. Shri Pokhriyal said that India is unique in the comity of nations, due to its philosophy of ‘Vasudaiva Kudumbakam’. He recalled the contributions of ancient India in the fields of mathematics, medicine and nuclear science. He said that IIT has gifted visionary and missionary people to the nation. He exhorted the students to take the nation to greater heights and contribute to the development of a New India.

The graduating students this year include 301* PhDs, 27* Dual Degree (MTech / MPhil + PhD) and 35* Dual Degrees (MSc + PhD). Out of these, 38 research scholars were selected for the award of ‘Excellence in PhD Research’ for the year 2017-19. In addition, 23 joint PhD degrees, in association with Monash University, were also conferred by the Vice-Chancellor and President of Monash University Prof. Margaret Gardner, who was present on the occasion. (*including PhD degrees awarded during interim convocation).

This year, two joint PhDs of IITB-National University of Singapore, and one Cotutelle PhD (joint supervision) agreement with Université du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres in Canada were also awarded.

Besides these, 12 MS (by research), 6 Dual Degrees (MSc + MTech), 576 MTech, 56 MDes, 27 MPhil, 110 MMgt, 226 two-year MSc, 10 five-year integrated MSc, 368 Dual Degrees (BTech+MTech), 4 Interdisciplinary Dual Degrees (BTech / BS + MTech / MSc), 6 Dual Degrees (BS + MSc), 683 BTech Degrees, 21 BS, 15 BDes, and 14 PGDIIT degrees, were awarded at the Convocation.

Presenting the Institute’s Report for the year 2018-19, Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri, Director of IIT Bombay informed that IIT Bombay continues to be a much sought-after destination for UG and PG studies. “Among 23 IITs in the country, 47 out of top 50 rankers and 63 of top 100 rankers in JEE 2019 have joined IIT Bombay” he said. Wishing the graduating students the best in life, Prof. Chaudhuri said, “The education you have received at IIT Bombay is comparable to the best in the world and you are now ready to take greater challenges and overcome them. Continue to develop your knowledge and skills and always keep in mind how you can help our society and the nation through your work. I wish you all the success in your future endeavors.”

This year, 4 students were presented the Gold medals for their exemplaryperformance. The ‘President of India Medal’ was bestowed on Srivatsan Sridhar, a student from the Electrical Engineering. The ‘Institute Gold Medal (2017-18)’ was awarded to Shashank Vijayakumar Obla, a student from the Department of Electrical Engineering, the ‘Institute Gold Medal (2018-19)’ was awarded to Reebhu Bhattacharyya, a student from the Department of Mathematics, and the ‘Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma Gold Medal’ was conferred on Dhruti Shah, a student from the Department of Electrical Engineering. Additionally, many more students were presented with gold medals sponsored by donors.

The degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) was bestowed on Shri. Nandan Nilekani, Co-founder and Chairman, Infosys Technologies Limited, Bangalore and former Chairman, UIDAI, Government of India for his outstanding contribution as an industrialist and an ardent supporter to the social development with the use of technology.

Addressing the audience, Shri Nandan Nilekani said that it is a great honour and privilege for him to receive the degree. He said that the five years he spent at IIT Bombay has been a defining experience for him. Speaking of his experience in building Infosys and later on the Aadhaar project and others, he said that it taught him that large scale development problems can be addressed using technology. He said he strongly believes in giving back to society and in making sure that the next generation of students has better opportunities. He said that he is sure that the graduating IIT students will go ahead and do amazing things for the society.

Prof. Margaret Gardner, President and Vice-Chancellor, Monash University, Australia, members of Board of Governors and several other distinguished guests from India and abroad, besides the graduating students and their proud parents, attended the Convocation function.