Mumbai: PM Narendra Modi lifts student's mood at IIT-B's convocation ceremony

Aug 12, 2018, 07:45 IST | Pallavi Smart

PM addresses tech institute's 56th convocation ceremony and praises IIT students' entrepreneurial and start-up drive

Mumbai: PM Narendra Modi lifts student's mood at IIT-B's convocation ceremony
PM Narendra Modi visits an exhibition at IIT-B's Powai campus on Saturday. Pic/PTI

The crocodiles in Powai Lake got a special mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech on Saturday morning. Modi was invited as chief guest for the 56th convocation ceremony of graduates and postgraduates at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B).

Modi spoke about several initiatives by the current government to encourage and nurture the start-up culture seen among those passing out from the premier institute of technology. "IITians are at the forefront of so many start-ups in India. So many of them are also at the forefront of indulging in nation-building... Great ideas do not come from offices of government but in campuses like yours," said Modi.

The ceremony was held at IIT-B's Powai campus. Other dignitaries present included Human Resource and Development Minister Prakash Jawadekar, Maharashtra Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao, and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Also present was IIT-B's director, Prof Devang Khakhar. This year, 651 BTech, 615 MTech and 400 dual degree students were awarded their degrees along with others, including MSc, MPhil and PhD.

Modi said, "You have been fortunate to live on a campus like this and in a city like Mumbai. You have a beautiful lake on the side and, occasionally, get to share the campus with crocodiles." This statement received a round of applause from the students, and more so when the PM went on to speak about extra-curricular activities and remarked, "It is still August, yet I am sure the 'Mood' is 'Indigo' today," referring to IITB's popular annual cultural festival titled — Mood Indigo.

Presenting a report on the ways by which alumni meets have helped in the development of the institute, Prof Khakhar said, "Although you [students] will graduate and leave the institute today, please remember that alumni are important stakeholders of the institute and we cherish our links with them."

Sanctity of the ceremony?
While IIT-B's convocation ceremony was held with much pomp, students complained of the hassle on campus due to security concerns following the PM's visit. The official IIT-B students' media body, Insight, has posted on its website regarding this. "The elaborate measures... have caused the focus to shift away from the graduating students, with the sanctity of the entire event coming into question," it read. It also pointed out a helipad made on the campus football ground for the PM to arrive.

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