- SVU’s convocation recognised the success of 2000 plus students across 7 diverse fields of studies; graced by the presence of Kiran Bedi, IPS (Retd) the ceremony felicitated 100 academic medallists
Somaiya Vidyavihar University (SVU) hosted its grand convocation ceremony on 16 September 2023, in Mumbai celebrating the success of 2,088 students from its 7 diverse fields of study.
The event was graced by the presence of Kiran Bedi, IPS (Retd), Former Lieutenant Governor, Puducherry. Bedi, a pioneer in the world of law enforcement and a tireless social transformer, delivered the convocation address.
She emphasised that it’s an honour to address brilliant young minds at their convocation. Expressing her gratitude to Prof VN Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor, SVU, she said he is a pioneer in digital open education, for his significant contributions not only here but also in underserved parts of our nation.
Bedi stressed I recall our collaboration to establish community colleges, providing marginalised and economically challenged students with the opportunity to achieve their graduation dreams, thanks to his unwavering support.
Furthermore, she underlined a significant ‘mantra’ for students, the ABCD of freedom – Ability, Boundaries, Conscience and Duty. These values are integral. I hope these young citizens grasp the value of their education, the privilege of studying here and commit to using their wealth of knowledge responsibly,” Bedi added.
Shedding more light on the university, Prof VN Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor, SVU, interacted with BW Businessworld sharing SVU’s broader educational perspective.
The diverse university
Speaking about the diverse nature of SVU Pillai said our university is not just limited to management studies, engineering, technology, education, science, commerce and business learnings, etc. But we are a multi-disciplinary institute and equally impart humanities, social science and dharma teachings on a significant level.
He said we have around 87 diverse programmes and this year the convocation felicitated 2,088 students from different educational streams. The VC stressed, “We believe diversity is our biggest strength.”
“The educational curriculum at Somaiya is not just limited to books, sports and other activities are also encouraged. The aim is to develop the students as all-rounders so that they successfully drive the progressive crest of the nation,” added VC.
Freedom of possibilities
Pillai said with over eight decades of its journey, SVU believes empathy and social relevance are an integral part of its system. The motto is ‘freedom of possibilities’ and hence unlike other institutes we give our students varied options to choose and excel in their fields of interest which are not restricted by traditional educational patterns.
Also, our spread of convocation describes how we are breaking the stereotype set by Britishers, Pillai added. He said as an Indian institute, we make sure the degree distribution is carried out in a traditional manner representing our country’s rich culture. It is our attempt to persuade the Indian values and discipline among the students.
The VC said we are not against the western dress code; we are just rejuvenating the value system that is somewhere lost in the digital world.
The National Educational Policy (NEP) is based on Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability, speaking on the five NEP pillars, Prof Pillai told BW that access to quality education is the basic right of every student and we are precisely doing it.
He said equity is another important pillar of the education system and we trust that as Somaiya enrols students from every social class were are bridging the inequality gap. As a socially aware institute we provide scholarships to students based on their merits, shared Pillai emphasising that even as a private institute with no government grants, we are trying to support students in every possible way. He underlined university’s 20 per cent of revenue is for scholarship programmes.
Taking about quality Pillai said it is a significant aspect and one can find excellence at SVU right from the admission process to convocation. We believe the quality should not just be limited to teaching but our management, classroom and campus should also reflect the superiority.
Adding about the fourth pillar the VC said, “We are concerned about affordability and make sure the programmes and diplomas at our university are economical for students and their families.”
Lastly putting light on accountability, the professor said along with our students and teachers, our staff and management are also equally responsible for the last pillar of NEP and together we are running an educational system that believes in developing a socially responsible individual.