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IIT Jammu drops proposal of Kashmiri dress for convocation ceremony

Jammu: In a major embarrassment, the IIT Jammu is learnt to have taken U turn on the dress theme of its maiden Convocation ceremony following strong criticism of the earlier decision to don Kashmiri Pherans and Afghani caps to the pass outs, who will be awarded degrees during the event, scheduled to be held tomorrow.

Keeping in view sensitivities of the Jammu people, the proposal of Kashmiri dress for the IIT Jammu convocation ceremony has been dropped and replaced with the conventional gown and no cap.
This was also confirmed by Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh who took up the matter with higher authorities following which he received a call from Director IIT Jammu, Prof Manoj Singh Gaur clarifying that it would only be conventional convocation gown and no cap.

“Important! Sensitivities with regard to dress proposed for IIT Jammu Convocation ceremony were conveyed to higher authorities. I have just now received a call from Director IIT Jammu, Prof Gaur clarifying that it will only be conventional convocation Gown, No other attire and no cap,” tweeted the Union Minister , who represents Kathua-Udhampur-Doda Parliamentary constituency.

As already reported by the Excelsior, maiden Convocation of IIT Jammu will be held on January 9 and during a press conference to share this information, Chairman of the Board of Governors, IIT Jammu, Prof Sharad Kumar Saraf along with Director Prof Manoj Singh Guar had `proudly’ disclosed : “The design theme of the ceremony has been inspired by the art and culture of Jammu and Kashmir due to which, the traditional convocation robes have been replaced with Pherans and Pakols.”

Pertinent to be mentioned here that the `Firhan’ is a traditional Kashmiri gown while the `Pakol’ is a soft, round-topped Afghan men’s hat, which is commonly worn by people in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The proposed dress code of IIT Jammu for its maiden Convocation invited sharp criticism from people of the Duggar land, who expressed their surprise and anguish over not adopting a Dogra theme for the event despite the institute being located in Jammu. The social media was flooded with messages conveying strong resentment against the proposed dress code and suggesting Dogra attire like Pagri and Pyjama with saffron robes to identify the IIT Jammu with Dogra culture and ensure respect for each other.

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh took cognizance of the sensitivities with regard to the proposed dress as Convocation attire and brought the matter into the notice of higher authorities seeking the remedy.

Embarrassed over the widespread criticism and particularly intervention of the Union Minister, sources said, IIT Jammu management decided to replace the proposed Kashmiri Firhan with conventional Convocation gown and no cap.

IIT Jammu is holding its maiden Convocation on January 9, 2021 wherein its first batch of 79 students from Mechanical, Electrical and Computer Science Engineering will be conferred B Tech degrees. The Convocation ceremony will be organized in hybrid mode that is both offline and online. Out of a total of 79 passing out students, the ceremony will host 38 students and their parents on campus while the other students will receive their certificates in a live Convocation stream arranged by the institute. The chief guests for the Convocation ceremony are, Dr Arogyaswami J Paulraj- Professor Emeritus from Stanford University and Gurcharan Das, who is a celebrated author and columnist.


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