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Hope only the Gowns are black…

The battle of convocation at GGS Indraprastha University has arrived a daunting co-ordinate.

Suiting up in the black gown and flying high the mortarboard cap, the moment a student joins an University this happens to be a dream ‘perfect-happy’ ending to the unforeseeable college life. 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’ finds its genesis long ago but, to its misfortune, the university stands as indifferent as ever.

A series of representations have been filed by the alumni of the University demanding the convocation for every student of the university, but a recent RTI by an alumni Ms. Ritu Rajkumari has re-surfaced the whole issue and the University response thereto has attracted all the eyes of suspicion towards them.

In the response to the RTI application filed in February 2018 seeking the information regarding the total expenditure on the convocation ceremony, the University authority has responded the following:

1. The total expenditure on certificates, printings and medals, for the year 2016-17 amounts Rs. 23 lakhs 36 thousand, while that on tenting and stuff costed 23 lakhs 27 thousands. For a convocation ceremony organized for 130 students in total (unfortunately, the rest of the students can’t even be the spectators) the University spent a total of Rs. 46 Lakh 64 thousand. A whooping amount of Rs. 35,882 on each student.

2. The 2015-16 data reflects the expenditure of Rs. 25, 643 on each student who was felicitated at the convocation ceremony.

The response regarding the expenditure has raised a suspicion, is it only the gowns or something else is black too? The expenditure stands the test of rationality only when the university is actually conferring the ‘24k gold’ medals, but again the chances that, in order to counter saving deficit or to redress any future situation similar to 1991 economic crises, they are actually giving the real gold 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, is this expenditure, even if found correct, was reasonable enough to be spent by the only University under the Delhi government?

The series of events has the re-surfaced the demand of a ‘Convocation for all’ and this time even the rationale, after analyzing the ‘big-heartedness’ of the university, supports so. In a single School of Studies at USS the average batch strength is that of 100 students, with the magnanimous funds available in the university coffers and the generosity of the authorities, felicitating a convocation only to a few students doesn’t sounds like an intelligible-differentia.

The student voice is impregnated with the hope that someday ‘justice’ will come out from the hard bound books and ordinances.

Nitish Rai Parwani

Nitish is a Law student at GGS, Indraprastha University. A renowned name in mooting, he has deep interest and expertise in disciplines of constitutionalism, philosophy and criminal law. A disciple of Swami Vivekananda, he is also an active Member of Vivekananda Youth Forum, Ramakrishna Mission, New Delhi.

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