DIBRUGARH, Jan 3 - In a historic change, some 12,823 students dressed in their traditional outfits received degrees during the 15th convocation of the Dibrugarh University (DU) on Saturday. The varsity had earlier taken the decision to do away with the conventional robes and introduced its own dress codes to showcase and celebrate the cultural diversity of the State.
The degrees were conferred during the ceremonious event by the Chancellor of Dibrugarh University and Governor of Assam, PB Acharya. Distingushed scholars, Professor Nagen Saikia and Professor Achyuta Samanta (in absentia) were conferred the degrees of D Litt (honoris causa) for their outstanding contribution to the fields of Academics, Literature and Public Life.
Professor Saikia, a former Rajya Sabha member is a renowned Assamese litterateur and academician. He is a retired faculty of the Department of Assamese, Dibrugarh University, as also a journalist and a former president of the Asam Sahitya Sabha. He is also a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi award.
Professor Achyuta Samanta, a Gusi laureate and a person of high repute has made outstanding contributions in school, higher, professional, and health education by establishing the globally visible Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) � a multi-disciplinary University, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), KIIT International School (KIS) and Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS). He has also been bestowed with a series of national and international awards and honours for his achievements.
The Chancellor, in his inaugural address congratulated the Dibrugarh University for doing away with the imitation of the western dress code for the convocation and bringing in the traditional attire for the first time to celebrate the convocation ceremony. �The change in the garb from a robe to a traditional Indian one is indeed a laudatory step. It will also inspire the cottage and handloom industry of Assam as the very gesture is to celebrate our rich textile designs and respect our diversity. The idea of the change in garb from a western one to one which is Indian should serve as a metaphor for a much needed re-hauling of the curricula of our universities to one which values, prioritizes and respects the idea of India, its civilizational ethos and diversity,� he said.
The Chancellor also appreciated the decision of the Dibrugarh University to open courses on Bodo, Mising and Deuri languages.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who attended the event as a guest of honour, spoke about the government coming up with a 15-year plan to study, discuss and consult about the right approach to education considering the local resources of the region and employability factors. He did not endorse immediate drastic change in the prevailing system, stating that sometimes �education might become a liability instead of an asset� to the society.
�We must first discover our strength, deficiencies, resources, lacunas etc., to prepare methodically the appropriate education policies. We have to make the graduating students employable,� he said.
The convocation address was delivered by Dr Justice Mukundakam Sharma, Chancellor of Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, New Delhi and chief guest of the convocation. Among several other pertinent issues, Dr Sharma said that with the advent of globalization and India embracing a free market economy, students have an important role to play in ensuring that the nation does not derail from the constitutional philosophy of equality and social justice.
On educational institutions, Dr Sharma said that imparting world class education is the need of the hour through more world class institutions like IITs and IIMs. �The very purpose of the educational institutions is to create an environment wherein different subjects/disciplines are not merely learnt but also researched, criticized, and reformed. The training of students should be directed not only towards equipping them to solve the real world problems but also play an active role in the society,� he pointed out.
Earlier, the DU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Alak Kumar Buragohain, in his welcome address, expressed the hope that with the accumulated learning, the students will rejuvenate themselves and the society around them. � I appeal to you to dedicate your service to the nation as your perseverance and dedication can bring in the much-needed changes and transformations in our country,� the Vice-Chancellor said.