9th Convocation ceremony of IIIT Delhi conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the students’ achievements could not be celebrated in the traditional manner, the Institute left no stone unturned to make sure that the event was equality inspiring and memorable for the students. This ceremony was a celebration of the achievements of the students during their time at IIIT Delhi. During the Convocation, the Institute conferred degrees upon 237 B.Tech., 203 M.Tech., 2 M.Tech. dual and, 12 Ph.D. students.
This year, Raghav Sood and Shravika Mittal joined the IIIT Delhi Hall of Fame by being awarded the Chancellor’s Gold Medal, whereas Pulkit Madaan (B.Tech. CSAM) and Raghavv Goel (B.Tech. ECE) became a part of Institute’s legacy by being awarded the Best Academic Performance award. Raghavv Goel (ECE) also won the coveted All Round Performance Medal along with Abhishek Agarwal (CSAM) and Tanish Gupta (CSE). M.Tech students, Aditya Khandelwal and Prateek Singh, also marked their presence in Institute’s academic history by being the recipients of the Gold Medal for Excellent Academic Performance.
Professor Joachim Frank (Columbia University, USA), recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was the Chief Guest and delivered the Convocation address. Prof. Frank mentioned in his address, “We have two choices: despair at the overwhelming chaos in the wake of the pandemic, or take it as an opportunity to rethink, in a radical way, the state of affairs and the way things should be run. As someone who has experienced utter chaos once before, at the beginning of his life during World War II, and then experienced the return to civil order, decency and prosperity in Germany, my country of birth, I’m biased toward the second choice”.
Professor Frank further added, “With your knowledge, expertise and certified credentials that you expected to receive today, the world would be wide open to you. Now, as a consequence of the pandemic, some of these career choices have come to naught because the economy has changed, other priorities have emerged that demand training in different trades, and travel restrictions may have created insurmountable barriers. Yet, on the other hand, entirely new choices are opening up in unexpected ways. As we all must take the pandemic as a wakeup call for the necessity of global cooperation, you all need to realize that your choice of career is a point where you can make a difference, a point that requires careful thought about your place in the world community and your aspirations as a responsible human being.”
On the occasion, Shri Anil Baijal (Chancellor) and Shri. Kiran Karnik (Chairman, Board of Governors) congratulated the graduating students, and shared their words of wisdom. Shri Baijal conveyed to the students, “What makes you unique is the spark that you carry within. This spark is your inner voice and you must nourish it, so that one day it helps you overcome the limitations of the mind.” Encouraging the graduands, Shri Karnik said, “In sync with IIIT-Delhi’s philosophy of creating Thought Leaders and Change Masters, we trust that you will be the face of this nation.”
During the event, Director, Prof. Ranjan Bose presented the Director’s report for the year 2019-2020. Prof. Bose shared in his report some of the major initiatives taken by the Institute. Specifically, he mentioned that IIIT-D has been selected for being a host for the Technology Innovation Hub with a budget of Rs. 100 crores, the starting of a new Center of Excellence in Healthcare at the Institute, the initiation of a Minor in Entrepreneurship, the Research Innovation and Incubation Showcase (RIISE) and the contributions of IIIT-D faculty in helping the Delhi government for tackling the effects of the pandemic.
Encouraging the graduating students, Prof. Bose mentioned that the experiences the students have gained will become a part of who they are and how they face challenges in the future. While reminding the students that every crisis is also an opportunity, he inspired them to use these difficult times fuel their creativity. He encouraged them to ‘ride the change’ using their talent and the skills that they had learnt. He also iterated that the students are entering a world that needs not only their talent, but also their insight, courage, and compassion.