Some central universities to hold convocation for the first time

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For the first time since they were formed, central universities such as the ones in Gujarat and Jharkhand will hold a convocation ceremony this year, officials said. The Allahabad university will also hold its first convocation ceremony since gaining the status of a central university in 2005.

This is the first time that all 40 central universities across the country will hold the formal ceremonies where graduating students will be awarded their degrees, the officials cited above said on condition of anonymity.

The move is in response to President Ram Nath Kovind’s direction to the University Grants Commission (UGC) askingcentraluniversities to hold convocation ceremonies every year. According to a senior human resource development (HRD) official, after the UGC issued a direction to that effect to the universities, all of them have submitted a final schedule, listing at least the month in which they will hold the ceremonies.

After the direction was issued, 12 universities have submitted the exact date on which their convocation ceremony will be held. Others have informed the ministry about the month.

“Convocation ceremonies are important not only for the students but it is a time of celebration for the (students’) family too. At the same time, in many parts of the world provisional certificates are not accepted and they insist on degrees that are only awarded when convocations are held,” said the HRD official. The central university of Kashmir held its first convocation on July 4.

Jawaharlal Nehru University will hold its second convocation on 8 August after its first in 1971. The Central University of Orissa held its first convocation in 2013, and will hold it now in December. Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University will conduct it on December 1; its last convocation was in 2005.

The President is the Visitor to all central universities and Rashtrapati Bhavan had asked the HRD ministry when each university had last held a convocation ceremony and when the next one is scheduled.

“The issue was taken up during the meetings with vice-chancellors of central universities and heads of institutes, where it was conveyed that degrees should be awarded annually at a convocation ceremony,” the first official cited above said.

“While some universities have delayed the convocation it for years, during this exercise it was found that many had never held a convocation ceremony at all. All the 40 universities have submitted a schedule of when they will hold the convocation this year including Delhi University, JNU, Karnataka, and Orissa, among others,” said a second official.