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In a First, IIT-K Students Ditch ‘British’ Robes, Receive Degrees in Ethnic Indian Attire

In a first, students of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur ditched ‘colonial robes and headgear’ and walked up to the stage in ethnic Indian wear as they collected their degrees during the college’s 50th Convocation ceremony.

Eram Agha | News18.com@erampatrakar

Updated:June 16, 2017, 6:37 PM IST
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In a First, IIT-K Students Ditch ‘British’ Robes, Receive Degrees in Ethnic Indian Attire
The convocation ceremony was held on June 15 and 16 with almost 1,500 graduate and post graduate students getting their degrees from chairman of Tata Sons, Natarajan Chandrasekaran.
New Delhi: In a first, students of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur ditched ‘colonial robes and headgear’ and walked up to the stage in ethnic Indian wear as they collected their degrees during the college’s 50th Convocation ceremony.

Speaking to News 18, Dean of Academic Affairs Professor Neeraj Mishra, who has been involved in the preparation said, “Student representatives proposed the idea at a meeting before the ceremony. It was agreed upon by everyone present in the meeting.”

He said that IIT’s Student Senate had conducted a survey that collected the feedback before presenting it before the Advisory Committee of the Institute. “Students today are proud of their Indian identity and confident to flaunt it. The survey was conducted by the Senate of the students before coming to us. More than 80% IIT students went for the new ethnic wear or Indian clothes.”

The convocation ceremony was held on June 15 and 16 with almost 1,500 graduate and post graduate students getting their degrees from chairman of Tata Sons, Natarajan Chandrasekaran.

Convocation-kanpur

After receiving the feedback of students, the institute contacted an agency to stitch clothes meant for the convocation ceremony. "For the first time, male students walked up on stage in kurta pyjamas and the female students wore kurta-churidaars, along with stoles in different colors to mark their specific courses," IIT-K Director, Professor Indranil Manna was quoted as saying. The ceremony saw the professors in golden colored robes that covered their suit and in Indian footwear.

The change in IIT Kanpur’s convocation dress comes in the backdrop of constant appeals made by the Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik, who in 2016, while attending the convocation function of Ram Janki Mahavidyalaya in Kanpur had said that the ceremonial robe and headgear was a custom given by the British.

There were reports that Naik had written to vice-chancellors of all universities in the state, directing them to make changes to not allow “ceremonial gowns and headgear in any convocation.”

The IIT Kanpur administration, however, maintained that the change has come as part of consultation with the students and has nothing to do with Naik’s alleged directives.

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