Of the 1,106 former students of ISM who will be receiving their degrees at the 36th convocation on Saturday, only a handful will be felicitated by President Pranab Mukherjee.
But that does not make the excitement of the remaining graduates or the present 5,706 students any less.
On the eve of the high-profile visit, the campus wore a festive-like look with the students waiting eagerly to see the First Citizen of the country up close. Mukherjee, who is slated to arrive at the institute amid tight security around 2.15 and spend around an hour on the campus, will hand over degrees to only 10 selected students, some of the toppers in various disciplines.
Sanchit Agarwal (22) of Uttar Pradesh who has been adjudged the best student is among the lucky few.
“I am very excited at the prospect of receiving the award from the President of India. This is the second time I will be meeting a President. Earlier, I had met Pratibha Patil while accompanying my father G.K. Agarwal to a felicitation programme where he received an award for the good work done by his NGO Shikshit Yuva Seva Samiti,” said Sanchit, currently working as a software engineer in Samsung India.
This time too, the young achiever will be accompanied by his father and mother Sangita Agarwal.
“It will be a one-in-a-lifetime moment for me,” gushed Sanchit, whose excellent grades (a 9.3 GPA) fetched him the honour.
Abhijeet Kumar (21), who had done his BTech in petroleum engineering from the institute, has come from Mumbai to be a part of the big day.
“A President will be visiting our campus after several decades (First President of India Rajendra Prasad had come to ISM in 1953) and hence, the excitement is double,” said the employee of Schlumberger India.
Abhijeet also expressed happiness at the way his alma mater has developed in the past year.
“I am elated to see a host of new facilities like the huge academic centre with sporting facilities and swimming pool, heritage canteen, four additional ATMs etc. All roads on the campus have been repaired and the premises look cleaner,” he added.
Abhijeet’s batchmate and colleague at Schlumberger India Arvind Kumar (22), who is slated to receive a silver medal for his results in petroleum engineering, shared the excitement.
“Students feel motivated to put in their best and work harder after participating in functions like these where the President will award degrees,” said the son of a revenue department officer of Bihar, who had secured 8.9GPA.
MBA (marketing) graduate Manoj Jaiswal, who hails from Dhanbad, said he was happy to see his town getting a new look for the high-profile visit.
Apart from the 1,106 awardees from regular courses like BTech, MTech, MBA, MSc Tech, MSc, Integrated MSc Tech, Integrated MSc, dual degree, MPhil and PhD, there are some special and sponsored awards like best student, best girl student and ISM Alumni Association’s best undergraduate student award.