IIT-G convocation goes virtual, student avatars get medals – Times of India


GUWAHATI: The 22nd convocation of IIT Guwahati created history on Tuesday by opting for a virtual medal distribution ceremony instead of a physical one because of the raging pandemic. Avatars of students received their degree certificates from the avatar of the institute director virtually.

Students and faculty members could choose different virtual avatars, navigate through the map, roam in their favourite spots, and have fun interacting with each other to make the day memorable.

For the virtual first-of-its-kind experience in the northeast, a photo booth was created by the institute with options of different backgrounds of the campus so that students could choose their locations for the photo.

Professor MK Bhuyan from the electronics and electrical engineering (EEE) department of the institute, along with two of his students, Snehil Sanyal and H Pallab Jyoti Dutta, research scholars of the EEE department, created the virtual platform for the august ceremony. Sharing his experience of the occasion, Bhuyan said since the students were unable to be present on the campus in person for the final degree convocation, the institute decided to go for a virtual presence. “This enabled the students to have a virtual tour of the campus, navigate through different buildings and share memories,” he said.

Bhuyan elaborated that several buildings of the institute are being used as Covid care centres by the administration and so the physical presence of students was ruled out. “At the same time, we had to engage the students for the memorable event. “Medals were awarded to the student avatars and this gave them a sense of achievement and belonging to the premier institute,” he added.

The portal through which the students and teachers could come closer through animated figures was just like a Zoom meeting, but with the difference that the IIT Guwahati portal allowed students to have a game like experience of the environment with different objects, videos of departments, speeches, and much more.

“Today, 500 students interacted with each other virtually. This has made it a historic event. The platform ensured students found the experience worthwhile, funny, and memorable at the same time,” Bhuyan said.





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