Congratulations to all the graduates who received their degrees at the 22nd Convocation Ceremony held at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri campus.
On October 15th, the university awarded a total of 1690 students, including 790 young women and 900 young men. Considering the fast pace in technology, the primary goal of Amrita is to keep the students up to speed with technological advancements combined with Chancellor Amma’s vision for compassion-driven research with a strong societal impact.
This year, Amrita witnessed its first ever batch of M.Tech Artificial Intelligence students being awarded their degrees. In addition, students from various courses received degrees at the levels of PhD, MBA, MA, MSc, MSW, MTech, BAMS, BSc, B.Com, BA, BBA, BTech and BCA.
Swami Ramakrishnananda Puri is one of Chancellor Amma’s senior disciples and is with Amrita’s Board of Management. In his benedictory address, he spoke about how the university goes beyond the knowledge of intellect and also fosters a culture of the heart.
“Amma wants all of us to imbibe values, also. Culture. Samskara. Amma gives utmost importance to that. That’s one of the outstanding aspects of Amrita students,” he said.
Swamiji shared a story about a batch of 12 to 15 Amrita graduates who had found jobs in the US. They came to see Amma in her program in San Ramon, California and upon receiving her darshan, garlanded her and offered donations for Amma’s humanitarian projects.
Amma asked them why they were giving money and the students explained to her: “All of us are from very poor families. When we entered our third semester, we were not sure if we would be able to continue our education because our families were so poor. Then you gave us scholarships.
“We all got very good marks and we all got employed in the US and are getting good salaries. So, the help you gave to us, we don’t want to end that. We want the help to continue. So here is our offering. Please use this money to help other poor students.”
Swamiji said that this was a perfect example of Amma’s call for compassion-in-action. Knowledge and love should go together so we can understand the feelings of others, the suffering of others, and help them with our acquired education.
Next came an address by Sri Arif Mohammed Khan, Hon’ble Governor of Kerala. He continued upon the theme of the crucial need for values-based education in today’s world.
“The role of values in our education system must be combined with imparting certain moral and spiritual values. Education gives you power and is like a weapon,” he said.
“It is like a knife, if it is in the hands of a homemaker it is used to prepare the food or feed the family, but if it is in the hands of an outlaw, it can create danger for the life of others. Simple textual knowledge is not knowing about the self; it is when you know the self, you attain satisfaction. Then you feel the purpose of your life has been achieved.”
Guest of Honour Sri Anand Selvakesari, CEO, Personal Banking and Wealth Management, Citibank, USA also addressed the audience and said: “You need to have confidence in yourselves and your abilities. Do not underestimate yourselves, and there is no substitute for hard work for being successful.”
Dr. Maneesha Vinodini Ramesh is the Provost of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and delivered her annual report presentation which featured 96% placements for this year’s batch.
“Annually, more than 300 industries recruit students from the campus and the university has established close collaborations with 100 plus industries through which the students are getting opportunities to do internships that often translate successfully as job placements,” she said.
This year’s recipient of the Chancellor’s Amriteswari Medal was Ananthalekshmy A, a graduate of B.Tech. in Electrical & Electronics Engineering (EEE). The award is granted to an undergraduate student with the best all-round performance across all campuses. It is based upon elements such as academic performance, research, international experience, community engagement, and cultural values.
During the ceremonies, the students chanted the graduation oath and as well, Taittirīya Upanishad verses were delivered to awaken within graduates a sense of social responsibility. The traditional texts are about how to behave in life and what worldly duties are to be performed based on cultural values. They are instructions delivered by the Acharya, the teacher, to students since the ancient Gurukula system.
Modern day actions also came to the fore as part of the day’s events. Following Chancellor Amma’s suggestion to restore balance with Nature, all graduates were given a tree sapling along with their degree certificates.