The 28th Annual Convocation Ceremony of the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics took place on 24th September, 2022. The ceremony was hosted by the students of BSc Economics and Phd, M.Sc. and B.Sc. Economics graduates of 2021 and 2022 batches were felicitated with their degrees. It was also the first convocation for the newly started undergraduate program.For the students of BSc this meant that we were required to prepare the scripts and host the event for approximately 300 students. We have some testimonials from the students who hosted the convocation ceremony. 

Anshi Pandey-

 “I was one of the hosts for the event and it was a very new setting compared to any of my previous anchoring experiences. This time, not only were we anchoring at an event that had multiple dignitaries invited, we were also bidding a final farewell to our seniors. Keeping this in mind, we had collectively practised so many times that I still remember most of the student names across the various batches. And the hard work did pay off. “

Ayati Mishra- 

 “Hosting GIPE’s 28th Convocation Ceremony was both an honour and a privilege for me. The Ceremony started with “Vande Mataram”,followed by the 83rd Kale Hall Lecture delivered by Lord Meghnad Desai. Having known that the Kale Hall Lecture has been delivered by luminaries in the likes of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prof. Abhijit Banerjee to name a few, over the last 80 odd years, I considered myself fortunate to be a part of one.”

And here’s what the students and professors of GIPE’s first B.Sc batch had to say about the convocation and more generally how they felt as this pioneer batch graduated. 

Vaishnavi Prasad-

 The convocation was one of the most important days of our lives. It didn’t just represent the end of our time at GIPE but also the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. For a long time we weren’t even sure if we would have a proper in person graduation ceremony as the spectre of Covid loomed large. The convocation was originally scheduled for December but it was be preponed to September of the same year. Throughout our time in GIPE, the email stating this made us the happiest. 

As this was the first in person convocation since before covid, it served as the combined graduation ceremony for all the batches that had graduated during Covid. To ensure our parents to witness this important milestone in our lives, the entire ceremony was live streamed. However,  only one parent per student were allowed to attend the convocation in person, in nearby classrooms, where they could see the live stream of convocation. The best part about it being Live streamed was that we could share the link with all are relatives living away, making the entire convocation even more special. Additionally, we now have the entire recording, our convocation and the wonderful talk by Lord Meghnad Desai, to revisit, everytime we feel nostalgic! 

Our Graduation did have a dress code, however to denote our academic achievements, we were given stoles to wear before we went on the stage to receive our degrees. Most of us grew up seeing the “typical” graduation photos where people wore academic gowns and mortarboard hats. To our surprise, the college had arranged for a paid photo booth, where we could wear the attire and get a hard copy of the photo. After all, it’s a very important part in our lives so most of us got the photos clicked. We can definitely call it a the cherry on the cake! The college also provided us lunch, and what better place to have lunch together than our very own UTBT!

Photographs I believe are just memories etched. Stating this, we got a lot of photos clicked, with our friends and parents! But it was incomplete without being in the place which unites us as batchmates, our class! We visited our classroom, the one where we met each other for the first time, bonded as friends more that just class or batchmates. Even though some of our classmates were in different cities for masters, after 2 years or so, we were united as a batch, once again.

Our college life was never what we had ever imagined. 2 years of it being online, where most of us attended from different cities, made us realise that no distance can ever separate us. 

Wherever we are, we will always be united as the BSc Economics, batch of 22 :)”

Rahul Shrivastav- 

From the moment I started my undergraduate degree, a part of me had always dreamt of the day that we would get the degree ourselves, the day where we would throw our hats and get a paper which would go on to signify the journey we have had over the years – The day of our convocation. From the perspective of FY Rahul, that was one day he would have hoped to see, a final hurrah with friends which hopefully were made for a lifetime. 

But as they say, there is always something better waiting for you. For me, the day of the convocation was the day of the start of the next phase of my life, which happened to have taken me to London for a master’s degree. When I realised that I would not be able to attend the convocation, a part of me was pretty disappointed. I would not get to see my former classmates together, would not be able to reminisce all the memories we had created along the way, or wish each other all the best for the future of our lives and hope to stay in touch with each other. I thought that I missed out on this aspect of my undergraduate degree. For a while, such thoughts had creeped up inside my head, and despite a part of me being pretty excited for my next journey, a part of me was disappointed as I could not get a proper ending for the last one. 

But over the next couple of days, this disappointment slowly turned into gratitude. I was grateful for all of the opportunities which I had received and grew with. I was grateful for the great teachers and mentors I have had over the course of the degree, who were always there when I needed any sort of guidance, academic or otherwise. But most importantly, my friends, the people with whom I have shared many beloved experiences, have learnt a ton from each other, have seen each others’ highs and lows, have laughed and cried together alike, and so much more! 

It was then that I realised that a convocation is just not a day, it is a feeling. A feeling that you know that you are closing a chapter of your life to begin the next one, but also realise how beautiful and amazing this chapter was. The feeling where you know that you have grown a ton since Day 1, and are capable of growing much more. A feeling which whenever you think of every now and then, gives you the warmth and comfort which you felt while you were experiencing that chapter for the first time. 

And this feeling is something that I will never forget.

Professor Saylee Jog- 

                      So Long..Farewell.. Auf Wiedersehen….but  Not Goodbye!

The runup to your convocation filled me with a mixed bag of emotions. It was a bittersweet realisation that our time together at the institute was coming to a definite end, but the sound of your names being called out on stage during practice reminded me of all the good times we have had together. And while I couldn’t be happier to see you graduate and to observe each and everyone of you find your own way in the world, I was keenly aware that our interaction would be limited to messages and email, and phone calls. 

It has been a privilege and honour to have had the opportunity to interact and get to know each and everyone of you, The first ever batch of the B.Sc Economics program at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. The batch of 2019-22!

We have had such amazing times together, and I have had the opportunity to grow not only as a teacher, but also as a person through my many interactions with you. And for that I am thankful.
I am sure that each and everyone one of you will have a long and exciting road ahead of you, for some of you, that journey has already begun, and for those of you who are still searching for the way ahead…. “ Picture abhi baki hai mere dost”. 

But like the title says, this isn’t goodbye. Thanks to technology it is really easy to stay in touch with one another. So, as a result of the occupational hazard, I will leave you with a few thoughts, explore and grab all opportunities that come your way, no work is big or small, each job is an opportunity to learn, and don’t sweat the small stuff! 

Devangee Halder- 

                                                      On making it, and not

We made it. The batch of 2019-22, B.Sc. Economics from the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics made it to graduation- and what’s more, we made it to a live, in person, strutting-up-the-stage-to-get-our-degree ceremony. There’s still a subtle buzz in saying that, for there was a time where we were more than convinced that we would not get this. That we would graduate to the sound of ping indicating that our degree had arrived in our inboxes. That just like that, on some random afternoon, this undergraduate chapter of our life would end.

We got the ceremony, much to our delight, and let me tell you, it was a splendid affair. Lots of happy and proud faces all around, tinged with the contentment of having this day at all. In an ideal world, every single one of us should have been in that auditorium, celebrating. In the real world, as luck (or lack thereof), many of us had gone far off to pursue jobs and higher studies- some were not even in the same continent, much less in the city- and were thus unable to attend in person. However, being in the end 22nd year of the 21st century meant that the event was live-streamed (and the playback available later as well), so we could all catch a glimpse of the convocation, wherever we were.

We all knew the date of our convocation, RSVP’d and non RSVP’d guests alike. In the days leading up to convocation, the group chats, big and small, blew up with what-to-wear and what-will-happen and afterparty plans, and a dozen other such matters. On the day itself, there were the where-are-yous and the I-will-reach-in-5s and has-it-started-yets. Then came the link to the livestream, a chance to be together as a class just one more time. I can’t tell you about the others, but I couldn’ join the live stream either, so I watched the playback.

It was a bitter-sweet feeling, staring at the video playing on my phone-screen. A small cheer would burst out of me when I saw my friends and classmates on that stage, followed by the slight pang “oh how I wish I was with them”. The 21st century has this odd trait of highlighting distance, while bringing people closer in pixels. A blessing with a bit of a sting. But a blessing nonetheless. All in all, there was a sense of contentment and joy, even if some of us couldn’t make it. And that’s okay. At the end, in all the ways that matter, we all made it, and that was good enough.

So long, B.Sc 2019-22. Congratulations to us, the first of many more to come! 

Nidhi Harish- 

The convocation was something that honestly no-one had a clear timeline on so when we actually got an email saying that it was happening with a fixed date and time I  was thrilled!

The college WhatsApp groups were flooded with messages once again and I think everyone was looking forward to being on campus again, catching up and just having a great time.

The ceremony began with us being seated in the kale hall and some truly great speeches by the chief guests, Dr Rajeev Kumar and Lord Meghnad Desai. Lord Meghnad Desai’s speech in particular encapsulated the essence of the political economy through an everyday lens beautifully.

As I watched the masters students getting their degrees the feeling that a glorious (albeit unpredictable) era had ended sunk in and I felt proud to have been a part of such a great institution. 

We, the bsc batch was the last one to be awarded our degrees but that in no way dampened our spirits as we cheered the loudest as each batchmate walked on stage to receive their degree.

Post the official ceremony, I spoke with the teachers and office staff ( who had stood by us through every step of the way), clicked photos, went to our old classroom and reminisced about the good old days.

It would also be remiss of me to not mention some of my friends who could not make it to the event which was disappointing, but maybe in many ways it was an indication that that’s how life’s going to be from now on, with everyone on their different paths. I just felt glad that they intersected for a short while.

So, if I had to summarise convocation in two words I’d say it felt like the perfect goodbye: which left me feeling grateful for the past three years and excited to see what the next chapter holds 🙂

 All in all it was a wonderful, surreal afternoon, one that I’ll fondly look back on always.

Rajlakshmi Chavan- 

GIPE has been my home for three years since 2019. What started as the beginning of my ‘college-life’ actually concluded virtually. I studied in a high school so I was stuck with uniforms and school shoes till the age of 18 but GIPE promised to change that for once and forever. I was fortunate enough to find people who I could connect with, and soon, call my close friends.  We embarked on various adventures among which The 8:10, the very newsletter that is publishing our testimony, was one of our biggest adventures.

Time flew by and we were struck by the unfortunate pandemic. That put a halt on our college-life. But I never stopped dreaming about our convocation- as that was the day when I could finally meet my friends, my professors in person before embarking on the next milestone in my life.

The day of the convocation, however, was a bittersweet one for me, for I had to embark on the next milestone in my life before I could even say goodbye to GIPE. I woke up on the day of the convocation and attended my classes at Imperial College Business School, the next step towards fulfilling my dreams. 

I miss my friends and my professors and thus, GIPE will forever occupy a special place in my heart.

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