The 53rd convocation ceremony of the Bangalore University was a fiasco, riddled with errors and gaffes.
Students who were eligible for medals were instead given cash rewards of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 due to the paucity of funds thanks to the ever decreasing rate of interest.
In order to get their hands on a gold medal, students had to actually be eligible for four, reported Bangalore Mirror.
“In the notification issued on the university website and the communication made to colleges, we are entitled to gold medals. But, it was shocking when they gave us cash awards and just certificates,” a student told The New Indian Express.
Registrar Shivaraju told Deccan Herald, "We had to convert 111 of the endowments into cash prizes and had informed the colleges about it, but the students deny receiving such information.
“This reduces the morale of the students. I had told my entire family that I would be getting a gold medal and all of them came to see me,” another student told The Hindu.
To add to this, some certificates came with incorrect or insufficient details. And what was supposed to be a moment to joy turned into a scene of protest as students returned their certificates.
One such erroneous certificate for a student eligible for the Best Sportsperson Award said that he got the highest marks in B.Com instead. “I need to be recognised for what I have achieved. Why should I get this certificate for highest marks in B.Com? Let them issue fresh certificates. I don’t need this one,” he said.
University officials said that correct certificates will be issued within three days.
Not only this, but both the University’s Chancellor, Governor Vajubhai Vala, and the Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddi, who is the Pro-Chancellor, gave the event a miss. Instead, the ceremony was headed by acting Vice-Chancellor Sudesh as the University is yet to get a permanent VC.
But this is not for the first time this has occurred in BU. The convocation ceremony was controversial in 2017 too and the varsity seems to have learnt no lessons at all.
The University had faced protests when only half the deserving students whose names were listed even a day before the convocation ceremony got gold medals.
In order to avoid such a situation, in a bizarre move, the University asked meritorious students to pay an additional fee to receive their gold medals, which irked students and academics alike.
After opposition from students and media scrutiny, authorities decided to withdraw the notification asking students to pay for their medals.