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Degree in hand, hats go flying

- Kalam asks IIT authorities to work for state’s growth

The convocation of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Patna, on Sunday was a grand affair with former President APJ Abdul Kalam conferring degrees on the first batch of 89 students, throbbing with excitement.

The President of India gold medal was conferred on Gagandeep Singh, a passout from the computer science and engineering faculty, for securing the highest cumulative progress index, while Anushmita Kaushik received the director’s gold medal for being adjudged the best all-rounder.

In his convocation address, Kalam asked IIT-Patna to be a growth partner in the development of the state. He said: “The IIT Patna can be a growth partner of Bihar in many ways, right from finding ways to tackle floods in the state to working towards sustainable rural development.”

Sporting a red cloak, the former President said the mission of transforming India into a developed nation can be achieved by integrating action in five key sectors — agriculture and food processing, reliable and quality electric power, education and healthcare, information and communication technology and self-reliance in critical technologies.

Summing up the mood of most graduates, Kaushik, pursuing MBA from IIM-Bangalore, said: “Our experience at IIT-Patna was good. People here are co-operative. They came forward to help us whenever they got to know that we were IIT students. Though we didn’t get the chance to study on the new campus, the institute provided all the facilities that any good institution provides its students.”

At the end of her speech, Kaushik administered a Sanskrit oath to the graduates in which they vowed to apply the lessons they acquired at IIT towards the development of the nation.

Lending a word of wisdom to the techies, Ajai Chowdhry, the new chairman of IIT-Patna and a founder member of HCL, said: “After getting engineering degrees, most techies join the software industry for earning more, buying car, booking a home and travelling abroad. I am not against students joining such companies but the techies should look at their job content. They should pitch themselves to create and innovate in their jobs rather than just coding.”

IIT-Patna honoured former IIT-Kharagpur director K.L. Chopra and former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission of India Anil Kakodkar for their contribution to the field of education and research.

The convocation function, which started with the rendition of Vande Mataram by a few students of Magadh Mahila College, drew to a close with the National Anthem.

At the end of the function, the techies, beaming with joy, threw their hats into air. Then, they rushed to their parents to seek blessings. The graduates hugged each other, exchanging congratulatory messages and wishing all the best for the future. Many posed for group photographs to freeze the memories of the four wonderful years they spent at IIT-Patna. Everyone helped themselves to beverages, an assortment of snacks and fruits laid out for the occasion.