Two Nobel Laureates, Chief Guest Prof Roald Hoffman (Chemistry Nobel, 1976) and Guests of Honour Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (Physics Nobel, 1997), and an MIT-Tufts University Professor, Dr Partha S Ghosh, addressed the 684 graduating students of Kolkata-based Adamas University, in its 4th Convocation today, held physically, with 27 gold and silver winners and their parents present physically, along with faculty and academic council, while rest attended online. The graduating UG and PG learners were from all schools: engineering, business, law, sciences, liberal arts, media, life sciences, pharmacy, and education.
Chief Guest Chemist Hoffman expounded the unity of the creative work in science in one hand, and the humanities and the art on the other. He emphasised that both science and art involve acts of human creation, accomplished with craftsmanship, with attention to detail. Both value the true economy of statement, conciseness, and intensity. He also called the creative act as cross-cultural and a very human mix, and urged all graduating learners to explore and practice this creative act towards which their minds have now been opened through the degrees earned.
Guest of Honour Physicist Tannoudji espoused the importance of basic research in sciences and noted that history of light and atoms shows that basic research changes our vision of the world by introducing conceptual revolutions (relativity, quantum physics, etc.) and leads to a wealth of unexpected practical applications. He explained this my elaborating how the better understanding of light-atom interactions has allowed several important advances: invention of new light sources, lasers; invention of new schemes (optical pumping, laser cooling) for manipulating atoms; etc.
Prof Partha Ghosh urged all graduating learners to honour oneself, people and the environment around, and earn respect in the process. He said that finishing a university education is a privilege in the Indian society, and graduating students must hence create a positive spirit through the practice of passion, morality and transparency. Bengal renaissance role models reflect the same. He also asked them to set goals, to dream big and find ways to go close to them, to be mindful of time and its productivity.
The Chancellor of Adamas University, Prof Samit Ray, narrated the background and need for a physical or blended mode Convocation in the given situation of the pandemic guidelines by the government, and to ensure safety and health of all. He urged all to pursue a lifelong inclusive learning and constantly change for the better.
The Vice Chancellor, Dr Deependra Jha, gave a detailed exposure of all that have happened on campus over the last twelve months in spite of the pandemic: winning of best infrastructure and innovation awards by the university, recognition to its engineering and business schools, QS ILEAD award for e-preparedness, restructuring of the organization, 30 special projects taken for this year, people’s first with HR-focused Adamas Dialogues, launch of quarterly #IdeaPlus magazine, task force to combat COVID 19, publication of COVID 19 response manual, launch of #AdamasUniversityCares for social outreach, and recounted several research grants and academic publications of the faculty members. He also noted that 2021 is being celebrated as the Year of Inter-disciplinarily at Adamas University through projects of multi-discipline venture development, design thinking, innovation and social outreach.
The students and faculty on ground and the rest online enthusiastically participated in the Convocation, though many lamented online not being able to physically attend it, for understandable reasons.