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[Exclusive]: ILS Pune to have first convocation in 90+ years (sort of)

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The Indian Law Society’s Law College in Pune, one of the country’s oldest law colleges, shall be holding a convocation ceremony for the first time in the ninety-odd years that the college has been in existence.

But not every student of the Class of 2015 will receive the degrees on stage. Here is why.

The Savitribai Phule Pune University directing all colleges to conduct a graduation ceremony for distributing undergraduate degrees
The Savitribai Phule Pune University directing all colleges to conduct a graduation ceremony for distributing undergraduate degrees

On March 14 this year, the Savitribai Phule Pune University (earlier known as University of Pune) had issued a circular [jpg] directing all colleges to “arrange Graduation Ceremony” for students who have completed undergraduate courses.

This ceremony would have to be held by April 20.

ILS, which is affiliated to this University , thus geared up for its first ever graduation ceremony.

Prior to this, the law degrees were sent via mail to the concerned student by ILS college.

This time around things would be different.

On April 6, the authorities at ILS published a one-line notice in Marathi indicating that the convocation for the Class of 2015 would be held on April 15 at the college premises.

However, this was not the complete picture.

On April 11, 2016 another notice [pdf] was uploaded on the ILS website. This one said that only rank holders would receive their degrees during the convocation ceremony. The rest would have to collect their degrees in the college classroom.

The undated circular also says that  gowns would be made available to the rank holders, provided they they register their names by 2 pm the next day. In effect, rank holders had roughly twenty-four hours to register.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a member of the 2015 batch said that it was bad enough that the college had to be “directed” to hold a graduation ceremony. But now only rank holders will be part of the ceremony. The rest, will make do with receiving their degrees in the ILS classrooms.

Part of the blame must be shouldered by the University; one month is a short time span within which an entire convocation ceremony can be conducted. But the ILS college also cannot escape responsibility. There is little reason to only include rank holders at the graduation ceremony.

The mood at ILS though, can be described as upbeat. Smita Sabne, who teaches company law, told Bar & Bench that she was “quite excited” at the thought of seeing her students again.

“This is the first time it is being held. Because of the short notice and the holiday season, we expect the rank holders, and those who live within Pune to show up. The rest, we cannot tell.”

(Image: Vivek Verma)