The 114th convocation ceremony of Savitri bhai Phule Pune University (SPPU) was held on Friday. Vice-Chancellor Dr. Nitin Karmalkar, chief guest and Director General of Council of Science and Industrial Research (CSIR) Dr Shekhar Mande, Pro-chancellor Dr. N U Umrani, Registrar Dr. Prafulla Pawar, among other dignitaries, were present on the occasion.
Over 1 Lakh degree certificates, along with 439 Ph.D. certificates were presented. The University also presented 126 gold medals on 70 students for excelling in their respective areas of study.
For the first time in the history of convocation ceremonies of SPPU, the students wore Puneri Pagadi, a Peshwa-era headgear popular in Pune, and conventional gowns during the ceremony.
In his convocation speech, chief guest Mande highlighted the importance of innovation and incubation. “Innovation is the buzzword of the 21st century. Innovation and enterprise are the foundation stones of making India a developed economy, and a long-term technology-led economic growth is possible on this foundation. Innovation and new technology will decide the future direction of development,” said Mande.
Congratulating the recipients, Karmalkar mentioned the university’s achievements in the past. “With 7 lakh students across 49 departments, 702 affiliated colleges, and foreign students from every part of the world, SPPU has earned a place of distinction in the UK-based Times Higher Education World Rankings 2018-19, and is ranked first amongst traditional Indian universities,” the V-C said. He also mentioned the SPPU’s selection in Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan 2.0, a centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2013 to provide funding to eligible state higher educational institutions.
While in the middle of the convocation some members of the Student Union including Kuldip Ambedkar, Dayanand Shinde, and Sharmila Yevle raised slogans against the V-C for adding Puneri Pagadi as a dress code.
“With consultation of the university administration, we will take further action,” said Dayanand Dhome, senior police inspector at Chaturshringi police station.