On the 19th of May, 109 BS MS students and one Integrated PhD & 41 PhD students were awarded their degrees during the sixth convocation ceremony of IISER Pune. Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, National Research Professor & Padma Vibhushan awardee and current President of the Global Research Alliance was the Chief Guest for the occasion. A recording of the convocation ceremony is available here.
The Registrar of the institute, Col. G. Raja Sekhar (Retd.) led the academic procession to the podium. The Chairperson of the Board of Governors (BoG), Dr. K. Venkataramanan, opened the convocation ceremony formally. Prof. G. Ambika, Dean of Graduate Studies, presented the graduating BS MS students, while Chairperson of the Senate and Director of IISER Pune, Prof. K.N. Ganesh gave the certificates. Fifteen of the BS MS students received their degrees with Distinction (CGPA >9). Dean of Doctoral Studies, Dr Amit Hogadi presented the graduating PhD students, while the degrees were handed over by Prof. K.N. Ganesh.
The Institute Gold Medal for academic excellence in the BS MS programme was won by Akshay S. who graduated with a CGPA of 9.9. He has an excellent academic record and has received fellowships to carry out research projects at prestigious labs in India and abroad. He also represented India at the World Science Congress at Israel in 2015 along with thirteen other undergraduates selected from all over the country. He will now be joining Cornell University, USA to pursue his PhD in astronomy.
Four graduating PhD students – one from each discipline – were presented with Best Thesis Awards. Srishti Dar (Biology), Tanmoy Saha (Chemistry), Neha Prabhu (Mathematics) and Koushik Karmakar (Physics) bagged the awards.
The Medal and Best Thesis Awards were presented by the Chief Guest, Dr. Mashelkar. The award of degrees was formally complete after the Chairperson of BoG signed the Register of graduating students.
Director Prof K. N. Ganesh presented a brief review highlighting the achievements of the institute, its faculty members and students. Dr Venkataraman then congratulated the graduates and expressed his happiness on the observation that women had outdone men in the graduating batch. He urged the graduates to higher levels of aspiration and encouraged them to be innovative and passionate about their work, along with taking care of physical and emotional well-being. Stating that success is no accident, he reminded the graduates of the upcoming fields in the new era expressing the hope that India would see great strides of developments during their careers. He then introduced the Chief Guest, Dr R. A. Mashelkar.
In his convocation address Dr. Mashelkar spoke about the genesis of IISERs and his vision for Indian science. He congratulated the graduates and commended their parents for giving their children the precious gift of education. He reminisced about the birth of the idea of having fully dedicated science institutions in India and how IISERs emerged from these thoughts. Stressing on the importance of effective institution-building, he lauded the IISER Pune leadership for promoting critical thinking and questioning attitude among its students. Pointing out that IISER Pune, with its proximity to other research and innovation centres is located in a science hub, he said that a border-less and interdisciplinary approach with synergistic cooperation within and among organisations will pay rich dividends. Outlining the grand challenges for science in India, he expressed confidence that these would be met and urged the graduates to contribute to Indian science though their career. A full version of his talk is available here.
The ceremony concluded with Prof. Ganesh presenting the Exhortation to graduating students and Dr. Venkataramanan declaring the convocation closed. After the national anthem, the happy and excited graduates gathered for the customary graduation photographs with the Senate members.