On July 29, the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) carried out its 51st convocation day and gracing the event, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman evoked students to ponder upon an idea to replace the traditional convocation gowns worn by graduates during the ceremony. She said:
I am sure that many of you will have that wonderful other side…Hold a competition amongst yourself (as in) how you want to receive your degrees (next time), if not like this. It is my suggestion to students and faculty. It is a light suggestion. I am not wearing a gown today. I know it’s a matter of extreme pride, honour and a tradition which we all follow, wearing the convocation gown.
While clarifying she has “nothing against it (the gowns)”, the minister says she feels uncomfortable when wearing them. She added on a lighter note, “If we can review foreign trade policy, we can also review this gown.”
In the same league, the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur had earlier done away with the conventional black robes and head gear and had instead asked the students ethnic attire for their convocation ceremony.