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“If you want to be relevant in the fast-changing world, and have access to the new opportunities, you should learn constantly, be prepared to take risks in life, and learn from failures to grow further,” said Prof Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC). 

The UGC chief was addressing the students who have graduated from The ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education at Hyderabad, at the institute’s thirteenth convocation today, September 16. He told the students that as they are graduating from the university, they are stepping into a non-ideal world, which has both challenges and opportunities. These challenges range from unstable economic systems, climate change to gender discrimination. At the same time, there are several opportunities presented as India has become the fifth-largest economy in the world, and the third-largest ecosystem for start-ups.

Prof Jagadesh Kumar on NEP and research

Prof Jagadesh Kumar said the higher education system should be ready to take advantage of these opportunities by scaling up the quality of education. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 sets the direction to do so by providing personalised, individualised and learning outcome-based education, where students can excel in multi-disciplinary education. 

The UGC chief said that the Higher Education Institutions need to invest in academic and research excellence, develop systems that foster freedom to carry outstanding research that meets the local and national needs of people. The institutions need to create an environment to provide maximum opportunities to students and faculty. He asked the teachers to adapt to new teaching and assessment methods to be relevant to the rapidly changing education landscape.

The chancellor speaks

Chancellor of the university, Dr Rangarajan, who presided over the convocation, said that higher education is important to build a nation. He said, “In today’s world, competition in any field is competition in knowledge.” 

Dr Ranjarajan said that though we have progressed a lot in education, there is still a need to strengthen higher education by reforming it in three dimensions – access, equity, and quality. Access will improve the enrollment rate, equity gives the benefit of higher education to underprivileged communities, and quality needs to be promoted. 

Dr Rajgarajan then spoke about India’s economic journey and challenges in becoming a developed economy by 2047. The Indian economy needs to achieve a growth rate of 7% for the next two decades, for which, Gross Fixed Capital Formation rates need to grow to 32% of GDP from 29% of GDP at present. 

The ICOR needs to be maintained between four and five. He called for absorbing new technologies, building a proper investment climate, and reducing employment elasticity to achieve growth. He said one of the main challenges that the fifth largest economy faced was in relation to per capita income. 

The vice-chancellor’s words

Prof LS Ganesh, Vice-Chancellor (VC), ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education, presented a report on the progress made by the university during the year. He highlighted the university’s endeavours towards promoting quality higher education, particularly the implementation of the New Education Policy with Academic Bank of Credits (ABCs), multiple entry and exit systems, and imparting multidisciplinary education. 

The VC pointed out several programmes that the university undertook for the all-round improvement of students, through community engagement and social responsibility programmes. 

Prof Ganesh said that the university promotes Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) and its rich values and ethics in particular for the all-round development of students. Addressing the students, he asked them to develop skills and attitude, compassion and concern for others, and urged them to play a crucial role in the transformation of the society.

Doctorate honoris causa

Prominent mathematician and statistician Prof CR Rao and Sreedhara Panicker Somanath, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) were conferred with doctorate honoris causa by ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education.  

Prof Somnath said that the honour recognises the work done by thousands of scientists and engineers at ISRO. He congratulated the university for spreading the knowledge system of India among the students. 

During the convocation, 2,488 students received their degrees. Eight students were awarded their PhD degrees and 1,142 were given MBA degrees along with 723 BBA degrees. In the other streams, three LLM, 178 BBA-LLB (Honours), 52 BA-LLB (Honours), and 311 BTech degrees were awarded. 

Eleven Executive MBA, 15 MMS (Distance) and four online MBA degrees were also awarded. Seven BArch, 5 BSc and 29 BA (Economics) degrees were awarded. 

Best Teacher

N J Yasaswy – Best Teacher Awards were given to the best teachers in Business School, Science & Technology School, and Law School. Dr Vikas Gautam from the Business School, Dr Sandeep Kumar Panda from the Science & Technology School, and Dilip Sharma of the Law School received the awards for Best Teacher.

Student achievers

Medals were awarded to students for academic excellence and all-around excellence. The gold medal for the first rank holder for Academic Excellence in MBA went to Udayanandhini K. The student also won the Faiyaz Ahmed Khan Memorial Gold Medal as the first rank holder in the Finance stream of the MBA programme. 

The silver medal was awarded to Ambika Singh. The Saurabh Sharma Memorial Gold Medal for being the first rank holder in the Marketing stream of the MBA programme was awarded to Sagarika Jena. The Manish Reddy Raavi Award for the Best Student in Finance was given to Varun Dhapade. Parul Chauhan won the Govind Shanbogue Award given to the topper in the HRM stream. Geeta won the best PhD student award. 

In the BBA Stream, Shubhangi Gupta won a gold medal for academic excellence and Aeshna Goel won the silver medal. The gold and silver medals in the BA Economics stream were awarded to Tummaluru Hemasree and Tanushree Chowdary. 

Aishwarya Vucha from BBA-LLB won a gold medal for academic excellence, the Amrita Memorial Gold Medal, and the Wordict-IP Gold Medal. Oisini Poddar won the silver medal for academic excellence in BBA LLB. M Sai Deekshitha won the Gold Medal in the BA-LLB stream, along with the Best Student award. 

Pariyal Gupta won second prize for academic excellence. Dheepika R won two medals, Nellutla Venkata Krishna Rao Memorial Gold Medal and the award for third place in all-around excellence. Ruqia Banu won the ABR Memorial Gold Medal and Subham Kumar Dalara won the Best Student Award at ICFAI Law School.

In IBS, the three best student awards were given to Yash R Devnani, Kanishq Dubey, and Shwetha Varshini R.  The best students at IcfaiTech are Aaryan Nakhat Battula Harshini and Aditi Mutha.  

In BTech, the best students were Vaka Sri Kavya and Aaryan Nakhat. C Shubham Naidu and Dudipala Saikiran Reddy were adjudged the best students in BSc and BArch courses. 

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