LUCKNOW: Ditching the ‘colonial’ black robe and headgear, IIT-Kanpur students donned ethnic attire to receive their degrees at the premier institutions’ convocation here Thursday.
The boys wore elegant cream-coloured kurtas with Aligarhi white pajamas and the girls draped themselves in traditional salwar suits with churidars. To complete the Indian fashi8on statement, they sported stylish stoles, a different colour for each course.
It was IIT-K’s 50th convocation. To mark the milestone, the institution decided to drop its colonial hangover and embrace desi couture.
"For the first time, students received their degrees in British-era gowns and headgear, but in Indian clothing,” said director Indranil Manna. “All future convos will be all Indian.”
A total of 809 undergrads students were given degrees and medals by the acting chairman of the board of governors, Prof P Balram and Prof Manna. The chief guest was Tata Sons chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran, who made a speech effusive about India: “We are in the most exciting of times. We are becoming the second largest consumer economy. Our GDP growth is the highest in the world.”
The atmosphere in the auditorium was exuberant with students clicking their last pictures together before they parted, and parents beamed with pride.
However, there remained a remnant of the past. For those who fancied a picture with the traditional graduation gown and headgear, a pair was placed outside the main. The grads wore it and had pictures taken, just as a sign of this rite of passage.