HYDERABAD: University of Hyderabad’s instructions to students to wear a handloom dhoti-kurta or saree, for its 17th convocation ceremony kicked up a controversy among the students. Doing away with the decade-old practice of silk and velvet black robes, the university has asked the students receiving the degrees to wear handloom kurta pyjama or kurta dhoti for men and saree or salwar kameez for women students. The university made it mandatory for the students to follow the dress code.
As per the instructions, the garments made of cotton in pale cream or offwhite, should be worn by the graduating students and the alumni who would be attending the convocation ceremony slated to be held on October 1 at Shilpakala Vedika.
Also, an e-mail from the joint registrar (Academics and Exams) of the university, said it would provide an ‘Angavastram’ (piece of cloth worn around the neck) with UOH logo and ‘XVII Convocation’ printed on it’ which can be bought for Rs 200.
These instructions came as a surprise to many students and alumni of the university, who took to social media to vent their disapproval. While some appreciated that it is not compulsory to wear the robes, others questioned the choice of the dress, and urged students to boycott the convocation ceremony.
Controller of Exams Dr V Krishna said that the directions were given based on the University Grants Commissions advise. “We started this with an intention to promote handloom sector. Even robes were hired earlier,” Dr Krishna said.
At the convocation ceremonies of the university conducted earlier, all the students had to rent the colonial black robes and mortar board (square cap).