Published on March 12, 2020
AHMEDABAD: India’s premier B-school IIM Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on Thursday announced cancellation of annual convocation. The official press release cited advisory issued by the central ministry of health and family welfare and WHO for the move.
‘In view of the advisories issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the World Health Organization to avoid large gatherings since the eruption of the coronavirus we have decided to defer the Annual Convocation scheduled for 21st March 2020,’ read the release. ‘The decision has been taken to preclude any risks to students and their extended families and friends as well as to the faculty and employees of the Institute.’
In an advisory dated March 5, the MoHFW had advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid spread of COVID-19. ‘It is advised that mass gatherings may be avoided or possibly be postponed till the disease spread is contained,’ it mentioned.
IIM-A officials said that a total of 498 students of PGP, PGP-FABM, PGPX and FPM courses were to get the degrees in the convocation. “An announcement regarding dates for receiving degrees would be made soon – the students would get their pictures clicked while receiving the degree. But it would be spaced out over several days so that probable spread can be prevented. Respective course office would arrange for the disbursing of gold medals and academic honours as well,” said a senior official.
IIM-A has installed hand sanitizers outside dorms and classrooms and have also engaged the student health club ‘Panacea’ to organize awareness events with faculty members, students and their families on the campus, said officials. Sources said that the institute is keeping a close watch on the exchange students coming from and going to destinations abroad.
The B-school is the first to cancel the major academic event in the city while several of the academic conferences and workshops are under scanner by various city and state-based universities.
City-based academicians said that this being an internship and student/ faculty exchange season, it would be hampered severely. They added that some of the companies, who have already offered internships, are advising students to defer it or work from home for assignment-based tasks instead of air travel or overseas postings. The universities have also advised the guest faculties/ exchange students to observe national guidelines before making plans.