Ahmedabad: 833 students celebrated a major milestone in their educational journeys as they graduated from Ahmedabad University receiving degrees at its 11th Annual Convocation on December 4, 2021. 616 students from the Amrut Mody School of Management, 39 students from the School of Arts & Sciences, 161 students from the School of Engineering & Applied Science and 17 students from the School of Computer Studies were recognised at this virtual ceremony. The total count of graduating students also includes four doctoral students - one from Life Sciences and three from Engineering.
Recalling the goal of setting up Ahmedabad Education Society (AES) in the 1930s, Chancellor Shri Sanjay Lalbhai said, “The big idea was to create and nurture a comprehensive university system in Ahmedabad – one that will build the theories which will change the society for good, helping our youth become agents of change. Ahmedabad University is carefully crafting this proposition for its students and faculty and strengthening the foundation of a research university in India.”
Addressing the students, the University’s Vice Chancellor & Chairman, Board of Management, Professor Pankaj Chandra, said, “Last year, at this time, we were unsure as to how would the pandemic affect India, when would the vaccine arrive, how would our graduates navigate the new challenges of the world, and who will want to travel the world to be part of a new Institution. Yet, the indomitable spirit of Gujarat prevailed, and we built hope when there was darkness. We completed the academic year with enormous grace, care and rigour through the efforts of our amazingly innovative faculty.”
“As you stand on the threshold of new opportunities, you will experience that the world has changed dramatically. Big issues that existed but were ignored are now in our face and we cannot ignore them anymore – whether it is untimely rains across the country, flooding in cities, the incidence of dengue and other diseases year after year, rising road casualties, persistence of extreme poverty in our country or even lack of peace within the country and in our neighbourhood. These and other similar areas offer big opportunities for you to engage with and contribute to the wellbeing of our nation and its people. Remember, you have within you the best of traditions of deep learning, contemporary skills, and a can-do orientation. Just believe in your goodness and you will do wise things.”
One of the most influential economists of our times and Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee was the chief guest at this year’s convocation. Congratulating the students, he encouraged them to see themselves as supremely privileged to graduate in these strange times, overcoming psychological pressures to reach success. He said, “The present often dominates our perception and we forget the perspective we started with. In your case, before your admission to your programme, it could have been: I want this opportunity for my life; I will be lucky to get into Ahmedabad University. So the first thing to do is: open your heart and celebrate. Look at your achievement both as a privilege and a responsibility. I know a lot of students from leading universities who have been disappointed because they were too quick to buy into the narrative of what success constitutes. You don’t need the usual props to be successful. In an age where what you hear the most is often influenced by structured discourses, it is very important to open your heart and think about what you really want to do. The most important training is not the one in your chosen subject; it’s actually in the training of the mind, openness to ideas and the ability to interpret what others mean.”
Shifting his focus on India, the Nobel laureate added, “In India, this is the moment when society demands your talent and commitment... Remember, change happens slowly. So do not be shy in trying new things. Lastly, do not forget the ways in which you are connected for life to your peers, mentors and faculty at Ahmedabad University.