Convocation programme under way at IIIT-A. (HT)
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Space ministry secretary and space commission chairman K Sivan said Saturday the Gaganyaan program, the indigenous mission that would bring Indian astronauts into space, is extremely important to India as it will enhance the country’s scientific and technological capabilities.

Speaking about the 15th convening function of the Indian Institute of Information Technology in Allahabad (IIIT-A) and the institute’s first convening, which was held online on Saturday, Sivan highlighted the importance of the Indian-crewed orbital spacecraft which is a manned mission into space This makes the country the fourth in line to have sent a human into space.

As the main guest, Sivan said starting a space program in a country like India in the 1960s was a big crazy idea. But Vikram Sarabhai foresaw the potential of space technology to transform India. When the whole world used space for military rule, Sarabhai believed that for a country like India, with its immense size and diversity, the space technology platform was the only suitable platform for rapid development. And the results are visible to all of us.

“Every moment in our lives is linked in one way or another to space technology. If we start expanding the scope of India’s space program today, we will actually realize the Sarabhai vision, ”he added.

He also said the reforms that allow the private sector, startups and academia to conduct space missions to foster innovation, tech diversity and human resource development had immense potential for improving the bottom line of the space industry in India.

The top scientist said that despite the progress of the past half century, we still had unsolved problems of reducing poverty and hunger, providing good health services and sanitation, ensuring adequate supplies of safe drinking water, providing quality education to people, etc. He urged the students to do their utmost to solve these problems.

Up to 403 students received various degrees in the convocation function. In addition, the institute awarded 23 medals to deserving people upon convocation. Ten researchers also received doctorates.

The director of IIIT-A, Prof. Nagabhusan, announced that 191 of the 196 students who had chosen to support the campus placement service had already been placed. A whopping 83 companies had visited the campus and offered an average salary package of 22.5 lakh per year.

Vaibhav Srivastava was awarded the Chairman’s Gold Medal for 2020 for his outstanding achievements. Vaibhav Srivastava, Shivam Fialok and Simran Gill were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals for BTech (IT). In BTech (ECE) Shravya Pandey was awarded gold, Srishti Agrawal silver and Gauranshi Nili a bronze medal.

The gold medal of Dr. TCM Pillay memorial for BTech (IT) was awarded to Garima Chadha, Nobel Prize winner Prof. Claude Cohen Tannoudji to BTech student Tanya Agarwal, the gold medal from Prof. Dr. to MTech’s bio-informatics student Shivani Gupta during the convocation.

All outdoor station guests, students, and members of various bodies including the Board of Governors attended the event online, while those on campus were physically present from the IIIT-A auditorium, complying with all social distancing norms and face masks carried.

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