Convocation attire: Government to replace colonial gowns with Indian ethnic wear

Students after the receiving their degrees at the annual convocation of Arya College in Ludhiana.

The government is planning to do away with the western convocation attire and replace it with an Indian ethnic one, sources in human resource development (HRD) ministry said.

At a meeting of ministry officials on Thursday, a consensus emerged to do away with the gowns and caps that are usually worn by students at the convocation ceremony at universities and other higher education institutions. They were of the view that such an attire is a relic of colonial past, said sources.

The HRD ministry will soon issue a notice asking the general public to give suggestions on the kind of attire that should be adopted by higher educational institutions, including Indian Institute of Technology, National Institute of Technology, Central Universities, among others.

The ministry plans to crowd source the design of the Indian attire that will be worn during the convocation ceremony.

“Apart from suggestions, we are also going to ask them to send their designs and we will shortlist it from them,” said a source.

“A notice will be issued by the ministry and all suggestions will be studied following which a final decision will be taken. The attire should match with our climatic conditions and at the same time reflect our culture. We don’t want to impose anything and that’s why suggestions are being invited from all,” said a senior HRD official.

In June, IIT Kanpur had directed its students to wear kurtas, pyjamas and churidars during their convocation ceremony.

Last year, IIT Bombay, too, ordered students to drape angavastrams made of honey comb towel cotton khadi to mark the occasion. IIT Kharagpur, too, had said they were considering introducing khadi for convocations.

“Our objective is always to promote local artisans who require encouragement from people like us. Swadeshi means many things, including khadi. So our options are open,” said a senior official from IIT Kharagpur.