Dhanbad, Feb. 23: The 35th convocation of Indian School of Mines (ISM) was a treat, real and virtual, for students and staff as the event was streamed live for the first time on the institute’s website today.
The event also witnessed the highest number of PhD scholars (43) in the history of ISM, established in 1926.
Altogether 833 students and scholars got their degrees at Penman Auditorium, a sense of jubilation palpable right from the arrival of Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia in the robing room to the ritual photo-ops.
As many as 53 medals were also awarded to meritorious students during the ceremony that began around 3.30pm.
ISM also honoured chief guest Ahluwalia with a DSc (honoris causa) degree for his contribution to economic development and public policy.
Nitesh Agarwal, a petroleum engineering student who secured 9.47 CGPA (cumulative grade point average), was declared the best BTech student. He also bagged four medals including ISM’s gold medal for the best BTech student.
Swati Suresh Agarwal of BTech (computer science), who secured 8.8 CGPA, was declared best BTech girl student.
Addressing the gathering, chairman of ISM’s executive board and general council Prateep Kumar Lahiri said in recent years, the institute’s growth has been phenomenal as its student strength has shot up from around 1,000 a decade ago to nearly 5,000 at present.
On ISM’s thrust on research, Lahiri said, “We have 548 scholars. The number is expected to reach 1,100 by 2015.”
He added ISM’s recent advances in the research arena were evident from the record number of 43 PhD degrees this year, up from 27 in 2012.
ISM director Durga Charan Panigrahi gave an account of the institute’s achievements in terms of academic programmes launched, international collaborations and meets, workshops and special lectures on campus.
“In pursuit of academic excellence, a unique online semester-based exit feedback system has been introduced.”
Meanwhile, Ahluwalia supported ISM’s demand for IIT status.
“In this age of competition, companies like Coal India Limited should be unbundled into smaller entities by appointing a financial adviser for better performance,” he added, saying it was his personal opinion and not of the central government.
Ahluwalia said besides India, economic slowdown had affected several developing nations including China and Brazil. “Proper management of the Indian economy is the need of the hour. If we do that, India can still achieve the target of 7 per cent growth rate.”