Eighty seven BS-MS students from the 2010 batch graduated from IISER Pune today at the fourth Convocation ceremony. The function, held at the CV Raman Hall in the Lecture Hall Complex, also saw sixteen Ph.D. students pass out of the institute. Prof M. M. Sharma (Emeritus Professor, ICT Mumbai) was the Chief Guest for the function.
Director Prof K.N. Ganesh admitted the graduating students to the convocation and handed over the degrees. The winner of this year’s gold medal, Shiva Chidambaram was felicitated by Prof Ganesh. Shiva, who has graduated with a CGPA of 9.7, has won the institute’s awards for academic excellence for several semesters during his BS-MS. He did his fifth year project with Prof A. Raghuram and has twice won the first prize in the Madhava Mathematics Competition. This first rank holder of the CSIR-NET examination is now headed for a Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Chicago, USA.
Prof Ganesh presented a brief report of the progress made by the institute in the past year. He lauded IISERs for ranking fourth in India and featuring in the top fifty in the Asia Pacific region in the survey published by Nature Index. Touching upon the facilities that have been established in the new campus, he recounted the various academic achievements of IISER Pune in the past year, including awards received by students at various conferences, participation in international student exchange programs and internships, and honours and grants received by faculty members. The Director also took stock of the research publications, collaborations with various international universities and various conferences and workshops organized at the institute this year. He commented that with various social outreach programmes and cultural events, the campus is “emerging as a happening place, both academically and culturally”.
Prof T.V. Ramakrishnan, Chairman of the Board of Governors, introduced the chief guest Prof M.M. Sharma. In his Convocation Address, Prof Sharma expressed his satisfaction with the institute’s growth in a short span of time and mentioned that he was happy to see the cosmopolitan nature of the students and faculty. Congratulating the outgoing students, he appreciated their interest in pursuing basic science. “It is the nature of basic ‘blue sky’ research that its fruits are unpredictable and largely unknowable”, he said. Pointing out that prosperity of a nation is often linked to the number of Ph.D.s per million population, he lauded IISER for contributing this pool through their doctoral programme. Citing the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations, he drew attention to some of the important areas like agriculture, water management and energy where India needs high-end scientific inputs. He urged the students to share a part of their future prosperity with their parent institution and wished them well for their future.
In his exhortation, Prof Ganesh reminded the graduates of their responsibilities toward the society and the country and asked them to conduct themselves with an integrity that would make them worthy of their alma mater. After the national anthem, the students headed outside for the customary graduation photograph with the Board of Governors and the Senate. The excitement was palpable as everyone tossed their graduation hats in the air, with proud parents and teachers looking on. This was followed by high tea for all guests at the Dining Hall Complex. The programme was well attended by students, faculty, staff, and family members of the new graduates.
– Reported by Apurva Barve