The battle of convocation at GGS Indraprastha University has arrived at a daunting co-ordinate.
Throwing the mortarboard cap high in the air while dressed in a black gown – many students imagine this to be the perfect happy ending to their college lives. While a couple of their batchmates are able to live this dream, the rest of the IP University students every year are not even allowed to enter the convocation tent. The demand pertaining to a ‘convocation for all’ found its genesis long ago. But the university stands as indifferent as ever.
Every year, the university invites only the course toppers and the selected PhD toppers to attend the convocation ceremony. This means that only one student out of around 2,500 students who have enrolled for a Law degree will be invited for the convocation ceremony. Moreover, a student studying in the university campus and being subject to strict internal marking scheme is considered to be at the same level as a student of an affiliated private college for deciding the batch topper.
A series of representations have been filed by the students and the alumni of the university demanding convocation for every student. But it has all been to no avail. A recent RTI filed by alumni Ms Ritu Rajkumari has made the whole issue resurface. The university response has made everyone look at the university authorities with suspicion.
In response to the RTI application filed in February 2018 which sought information regarding the total expenditure on the convocation ceremony, the university authorities have responded as follows.
1. The total expenditure on certificates, printings, and medals, for the year 2016-17 amounts to ₹23,36,000 while that on tenting and stuff amounted to ₹23,27,000. For a convocation ceremony organised for 130 students in total (unfortunately, the rest of the students can’t even be spectators), the university spent a total of ₹46,64,000. A whopping amount of ₹35,882 on each student.
2. The 2015-16 data shows an expenditure of ₹25,643 on each student who was felicitated at the convocation ceremony.
The response regarding the expenditure has raised suspicion. Are only the gowns black or is something else black too? The expenditure stands the test of rationality only if the university is actually conferring the ‘24k gold’ medals. But again, the chances that they are giving away real gold in order to counter saving deficit are very bleak.
The Delhi government claims to have spent a huge portion of the State Budget on education, but the Chief Minister, who happened to be the chief guest at the convocation ceremony, needs to ponder – was this expenditure reasonable enough to be spent by the only university under the Delhi government?
The demands of a ‘convocation for all’ have once again resurfaced. With the magnanimous funds available to the university, felicitating the convocation only to a few students doesn’t sound like an intelligent idea.
The students are hoping that someday, ‘justice’ will come out from the hardbound books and ordinances.
The author is the Editor of the E-magazine Campus Chronicle and the article was first published on campuschronicle.in