Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) hosted the landmark 10th Convocation of the Institute today by conferring degrees to a total of 548 students through a heartwarming virtual ceremony. The Institute made sure that the pandemic scenario does not dampen the spirit of this momentous occasion of its students’ lives and turned the online event into a celebration of students’ hard work and perseverance, filled with joyous, nostalgic and motivating moments. The entire event was streamed online on IITGN’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
The Institute awarded digital degrees to 175 BTech students, 5 Dual Major BTech students, 1 BTech-MTech Dual Degree student, 155 MTech students, 95 MSc students, 30 MA students, 86 PhD students, and 1 PGDIIT student. This year, 52 students received 58 medals; 42 gold medals, and 16 silver medals for excellence in various categories such as academics, outstanding research, innovation, leadership, social service, sports, arts & culture, and so on.
This year, IITGN graduated the first batch of its five-year Dual Major BTech programme. This programme provides the students with an opportunity to earn their BTech degree in two different disciplines with only one additional year. Three students of Mechanical Engineering and one each from Chemical Engineering and Electrical Engineering have done their second major in Computer Science and Engineering. This year, the growth in the number of PhD degrees being awarded is particularly noteworthy. Total 86 PhD degrees have been awarded this year, compared to 55 and 27 PhD degrees in 2020 and 2019, respectively. Also, 39 students from the class of 2021 have completed their BTech in seven semesters (normal duration is eight semesters), as compared to 13 students in 2020 and 20 students in 2019.
Dr Pawan Munjal, one of India’s renowned corporate leaders and the Chairman & CEO of Hero MotoCorp Ltd, was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Dr Pawan Munjal is a doyen of Indian industry, under whose leadership, Hero achieved the coveted title of World’s No. 1 two-wheeler company in 2001 and has successfully retained this position to date – for 20 consecutive years. Most recently, Dr Munjal has led Hero MotoCorp to embark on new partnerships with global brands like Harley-Davidson and Gogoro Inc. to develop future-ready and technology-driven mobility solutions.
In his motivating Convocation address to the graduating students through video conference, Dr Pawan Munjal urged the students to dream big and create a world they want to live in and said, “It’s now time that India grabs its rightful place in the global economy. It is time to show the world that the next set of technology giants will be born out of India. We have always spoken about our ingenuity, demographic dividend, and our “never say die” spirit; if there was any time to make the most of these traits, it is surely now. And you, the young heroes, will have to lead this charge from the front.”
Encouraging the graduating students to lead the India of the future, Dr Munjal said, “Anything and everything is possible when you take charge of your life going forward from now. Be prepared and get set to conquer the world. Always remind yourselves that in each and every one of you lies the ability to turn the impossible into I’M POSSIBLE.”
He also shared his father, Dr. Brijmohan Lall Munjal’s and his own inspiring journey of building and turning Hero MotoCorp into a proud Indian company that has emerged as a truly global brand. He added that IITGN and Hero MotoCorp both stand on the solid foundation of relationships.
Earlier to the Chief Guest’s address, Dr Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group and Chairman of the Board of Governors of IITGN, delivered his ceremonial speech and said, “Every Convocation is the culmination of several years of effort, planning and sacrifice by the students and their family members. I congratulate all the graduating students who will step out with a degree from a very accomplished institute. I find a different kind of energy in the entire team of IITGN, which is working towards making IITGN one of the best technological institutes in the world.”
Giving a brief overview of the Institute activities and achievements during the year, Prof Sudhir K Jain, Director, IITGN, described three broad pillars of IITGN’s approach during the pandemic crisis – 1) Safety First, 2) Empathy for All, and 3) Long-term Growth Opportunities offered by the pandemic, including notable successes in faculty and postdoctoral recruitment, course offerings, and academic governance. Elaborating further, he said, “The online mode of instruction powered the adoption of fresh pedagogical approaches and new assessment techniques. These will have a very useful long-term impact on course design, student learning, and teaching. Remote instructions also gave us the opportunity to engage a substantial number of academics from around the world to teach formal courses during the last year. As a result, our students could take diverse and specialised courses taught by faculty from countries such as the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, and Japan.”
Despite the challenges, the Institute created momentum and achieved remarkable results on various fronts during the year, including setting up a Covid Care Facility for the entire campus community and their families, providing liberal financial aid to needy students during the pandemic, publishing 447 journal articles in 2020, Rs 12.5 crores of philanthropic funds, donations by more than 55% of the Institute alumni, setting up of several new faculty chairs and scholarships, and livelihood generation for the women of Palaj and Basan villages through skilling programmes. Professor Jain provided a brief account of all these and more during his Convocation speech.
Congratulating and wishing the best to all the degree recipients and medal winners, Prof Sudhir K Jain also lauded the student community’s exceptional maturity, teamwork, and leadership skills in helping to manage the campus during the pandemic. In his concluding remarks, he stated, “Life will not always be easy and will require making difficult choices from time to time … I wish you all the wisdom and the courage to take decisions and bear their consequences.”
IITGN Class of 2021 – placements and higher studies details:
Total 156 companies participated in the IITGN campus recruitment this year. This year, the number of companies/organisations interested in recruiting students increased by over 20%. Out of the total number of BTech students who had sought placements this year, 73% have been recruited in various sectors such as agrochemical, analytics, automobile, BFSI/FinTech, consulting, EdTech, engineering & technology, financial services, FMCG, healthcare, infrastructure, IT, manufacturing, media, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, research and innovation, telecommunication etc.
Tata Consultancy Services and Testbook recruited the highest number of students this year, 10 and 11, respectively. D E Shaw India Pvt Ltd offered the maximum package for BTech and Enphase Solar Energy Pvt Ltd offered the maximum package for MTech.Total 15% of students from this graduating batch are expected to go for further studies and 16% of the graduating BTech students have opted to pursue higher studies. They will be pursuing MS, MSR, MSc, PGP, MS-PhD, or PhD in various universities or institutes such as California Institute of Technology, USA; Carnegie Mellon University, USA; Stanford University, USA; ETH Zürich, Switzerland; Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium; King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia; IIMs; IITs; and so on.