Published: 02nd July 2019
IIT Madras postpones convocation to suit PM Modi's convenience, students in a fix
The 56th convocation was originally scheduled on July 19 and now stands postponed, according to an official e-mail sent by the IIT-M administration on Monday afternoon
In a decision that has triggered a logistic nightmare for hundreds of students, IIT Madras has postponed its annual convocation indefinitely - for the convenience of Prime Minister Narendra Modi - who has agreed to take part in the ceremony as chief guest.
The 56th convocation was originally scheduled on July 19 and now stands postponed, according to an official e-mail sent by the IIT-M administration on Monday afternoon. Over 2,300 graduates/scholars were to receive degrees during the convocation and considering the event was just two weeks away, the majority of these students may have to cancel and rebook tickets and hotels, which would be difficult at short notice.
“For instance, a student has joined a university in Australia for higher education. She has booked flight tickets to attend the convocation on July 19. Now, she has to cancel the same. Also, with IIT-M not specifying the revised date, many such students are left in the lurch. It is unlikely that PM Modi will come on a date suggested by IIT-M. So, it’s a precarious situation for students,” a student said.
The e-mail, accessed by TNIE, says, "This, being the Diamond Jubilee Year of IIT Madras, we had invited Prime Minister to be the Chief Guest at the convocation. I am happy to share with you all that the Ministry of HRD has informed us that the PM has accepted the invitation and the date will be fixed, keeping in view his commitments, including the Parliament being in session. As such, the 2019 convocation scheduled for July 19, stands postponed. The new date will be intimated as soon as it is fixed. We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused by the change of date,” said Dean, Academic Courses.
Another student said due to the acute water crisis in the city, IIT-M has asked its graduates who finished their projects in the second week of May, to leave the campus. Only postgraduates, PhD students and some final year students are on the campus. Even still, they have to make necessary arrangements for their parents. “Some of the students from Northeast coming from low-income families can’t book rail tickets at short notice and will have to come by flight, which would an unnecessary financial burden.” Ironically, IIT-M joint registrar (courses) in an e-mail on May 6, advised students to plan their travel well in advance to avoid delays.
A section of students was already expressing disappointment over IIT-M deciding to withdraw traditional convocation gowns and replacing the same with a formal white dress and IIT-M’s ‘Angavasthiram’, which would be given by the institute a day before the convocation. IIT-M officials were not available for comments.