SIX MONTHS after applying for the convocation ceremony, few students of the bachelor of pharmacy course at AISSMS College of Pharmacy (CoP) are still awaiting for a formal function despite having paid the fees for the ceremony. The students have been at loggerheads with the college authorities demanding their right, alleging that the college did conduct the ceremony but only for those students who decided to continue post-graduation studies at the institution while students pursuing graduation were ignored.
The college management, on its part, said all students were invited for the ceremony but only a few responded to calls and a handful are now creating trouble for the institute. From this year onwards, the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) authorities have asked all affiliated colleges to conduct convocation ceremony for all graduate courses at their level, given the sheer number of students and the load on the varsity to conduct the ceremony for all. Accordingly, in January, training workshops were conducted for the representatives of the examination department of colleges about the ceremony.
According to students, the convocation ceremony of AISSMS CoP took place on April 19, for which email invitations were sent to students a few days prior. “The email does not mention anywhere that we were to revert. When we reached, we saw the ceremony was over with students who are continuing with the post-graduation course. Since that day, we have met college representatives, members of the parent society of college, emailed university authorities but no one responded to us. We studied for four years sincerely and had hopes pinned on this ceremony. Last week, they told us if we want to get our photos clicked we can do it but without a gown or a degree. Is it a joke?” said Ashish Kankal, one of aggrieved students.
Another student, Pinak Shah, pointed out that the convocation ceremony fee was already paid by students, which covers cost of the gowns. The college administration admits that such a mail was sent out but claims that no student responded. “We had organised a rally and we thought what if no one comes.
Since we knew the students who were continuing post graduation would come for sure, we bought gowns for them and conducted the ceremony. The students who are complaining they didn’t get convocation gowns turned up late that day and since they had not responded, we had not bought gowns for them and hence, they couldn’t come on stage. We handed over the certificates to them,” said college principal Dr Ashwini Madgudkar. Sujata Bhuye, deputy registrar, certificate department at SPPU, said the Vice-Chancellor has asked to investigate the matter. “We are going to ask the college to respond, every student who is eligible should have been at the convocation,” she said.
Now, Convocation to be held twice a year
Keeping in mind the huge rush of students who have applied for the convocation ceremony this year, about 80,000 students in total, the authorities of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) have decided to hold the ceremony twice in a year from now on.
A decision in this regard was taken at the meeting of the Board of Examinations (BoE) which was held recently at the varsity. According to the decision, the first convocation would be held as per schedule and the second ceremony is likely to happen around the first week of November, said sources.