IIT-Bombay had conducted its 58th Convocation in which personalized virtual figures of students were awarded degrees from a virtual figure of the Director Subhasis Chaudhari, which is described as a global first.
“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.
The students or the ‘virtual avatars’ were allowed to roam around campus say their goodbyes, go into their hostels and talk to their mates.
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 honor.
Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri also presented the IIT-Bombay’s annual report for 2019-2020, while Prof. Haldane and Schwarzman addressed the students.
“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 Chaudhuri.
The ‘Institute Gold Medal (2018-19)’ was awarded to Shashwat Shukla, a student from the Department of Electrical Engineering.
The ‘Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma Gold Medal’ was conferred on Prakash Singh Badal, a Ph.D. student from the Department of Civil Engineering.
In addition to this, all of the departmental toppers were awarded silver-medals by the chief guests.
Prof. Gardner, 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.