Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay conducted its 58th annual convocation ceremony this year in virtual reality mode due to the pandemic. “Keeping in view the safety measures during the ongoing pandemic, the institute held its convocation in virtual reality mode for its graduating students,” said a press release from the premier institute.

Over 2000 students participated in the ceremony from the safety of their homes and had their e-avatars walk up the dais to receive medals and degrees from the virtual avatars of dignitaries and the director. The institute said that it did not wish to deprive students of the sense of achievement and pride of passing out of the premier engineering institute. “A personalised avatar of each graduate received the degree certificate from the personalised avatar of director professor Subhasis Chaudhari. The medallists also received their medals from the personalised avatar of the chief guest,” the institute said.

This is for the first time in the institute’s 62-year history that it gave away medals, awards and degrees to virtual avatars of students on the day of convocation. The ceremony saw Duncan Haldane, co-recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics, and a Professor of Physics at Princeton University as the Chief Guest. Stephen Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone, was the Guest of Honour.

Videos of the event went viral on Twitter.

The institute also provided students with the opportunity to roam around a virtual campus, visit their hostels and departments virtually. They could also meet friends and faculty. The entire event was telecasted live on DD Sahyadri and on the official YouTube ad Facebook page of the institution.