The Chennai-based Hindustan Institute of Technology & Science (HITS), a deemed-to-be-university, celebrated its annual 12th Convocation on March 5, 2022. The chief guest at the function was Kris Gopalakrishnan, the co-founder of Infosys, and the guests of honour were Dr Grace Akello, Uganda ambassador to India and filmmaker Priyadarshan.
The convocation commenced with a welcome address and presentation of the annual report by Dr S N Sridhara, vice-chancellor, HITS, followed by an address by the chancellor Dr Elizabeth Verghese congratulating the students on their graduation and wishing them the best. She later conferred Kris Gopalakrishnan with the Doctor of Science Honoris Causa; and the guests of honour, Dr Grace Akello and Priyadarshan, with the Doctor of Letters.
In his convocation address, Kris Gopalakrishnan highlighted the importance of the right use of technology to create a long-term impact on society. He also encouraged everyone to help each other as the world is going through tough times for the past two years due to the pandemic and the ongoing war in Europe.
He focused on three important messages in his speech to the graduates: One, he said, is to find a wave to ride on even as one should be extremely aware of the current trends and developments to bring a wave of change.
Secondly, Gopalakrishnan said that India is the best place to be in because as a developing nation, the country has witnessed massive growth over the past four decades, and will become the largest economy in the next three decades. Thirdly, he urged students to build character, courage, and capabilities. Moving from the safe confines of the university to the big world, it is essential to build character, have the courage and not give up no matter how tough things get and keep improving one’s capabilities to become the best at what they do.
Dr Grace Akello in her address meanwhile underlined the importance of women’s empowerment not only in India but also around the world. She talked about the need for love and empathy in today’s world to build a better society. Acknowledging the brilliance of human intelligence which is capable of creating wonders, she urged students to utilise that intelligence to bring about prosperity around the world.
India and Uganda have shared good relations for over 100 years, she said, thanking India for their constant support to Uganda whenever they needed it the most. She concluded her address by congratulating all the graduates and Indian women for their achievements and also wished that every girl child in India should get access to holistic and quality education.
Indian film director Priyadarshan in his address recalled the struggles he had to undergo in his early days. Like any human being, he too was at the crossroads when it came to choosing his career. However, once he was sure about what we wanted to do; he put all his focus and energy towards it and became the man he is today. He urged every graduate to be confident of their choice and give their best.
During the convocation, 2,214 graduates comprising UG, PG, PhD, and diploma students were awarded degrees. Whilst 70 rank holders were honoured with prizes for their meritorious performance in academics. The convocation was live-streamed in Hindustan’s YouTube channel and was conducted both through offline and online mode to ensure social distancing norms were being adhered to by the institution during the pandemic.
After the convocation, the guests and dignitaries were involved in planting saplings, and inaugurated the following labs on the campus.
The chief guest Kris Gopalakrishnan inaugurated the WK Kellogg Food Analysis Laboratory, which aims to provide practical and theoretical training in converting raw agricultural produce into processed, packaged, shelf-stable food products and intermediate raw materials; and also helps in the establishment, maintenance and assurance of food quality.
Dr Grace Akello inaugurated the Texas Instruments Innovation Centre (TIIC), set up in association with Edgate Technologies, so as to bridge the gap between industry experts and academia through TI engagement programme that provides hands-on experience in technologies related to ultra-low power applications, embedded system, IoT, robotics labs with brain wave technology, and wireless sensor monitoring.
Dr Peter Koenig, professor and head, Institute for Automotive Technology, Trier University of Applied Sciences, Germany inaugurated OKINAWA – HITS Skill Next Centre, which has been established to make students competent for the EV market. As the automobile industry is facing a shortage of talented and skilled engineers to meet the needs for a market transiting to electric vehicles, this centre was set up to fill that gap and gain an edge through industry-ready curriculum design.
Dr Anand Jacob Verghese, pro chancellor HITS; Dr RW Alexander Jesudasan, pro vice- chancellor, HITS; Dr Aby Sam, director, HITS; Ashok Verghese, director, HITS; and the members of the board of management, HITS were also present at the convocation.
Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science (HITS), established in 1985, offers a wide spectrum of undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma courses; and research and doctoral programmes in diverse fields of engineering, technology, management, architecture, liberal arts, applied sciences, design, allied health sciences and law. The institution is part of Hindustan Group of Institutions, Chennai and caters to the academic needs of over 18,000 students from India and overseas.