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Degrees to digital avatars of students to ‘mixed reality’ tech: IITs’ convocation during Covid-19 – education

From digital avatars of students receiving degrees on a virtual stage to the use of ‘mixed reality’ technology, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) are merging the real and the digital to ensure that their convocation ceremonies are not missed. due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IIT-Madras is conducting a one-of-a-kind call using “mixed reality” (MR) where physical and digital objects coexist and interact in real time. MR is the fusion of the real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations.

“We are conducting the 57th convocation of the institute using technology where the real and the virtual mix to provide a virtual online experience for viewers,” IIT-Madras Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi told PTI.

“The technology that is being used is neither animation nor virtual reality. The warm friendships, the vibrant academy, and more will always be appreciated by graduates, ”he said.

IIT-Bombay held its convocation in August using virtual reality and the digital avatars of students earned degrees using the technology.

“While the students were unable to congregate for the convocation, where Nobel Prize winner Professor Duncan Haldane was invited as the main guest, they were seen along with the guests in their digital avatars on a virtual stage,” said a senior official from the Institute.

“It is the first time in the 62-year history of the institute that we give away medals, prizes and titles to virtual avatars of students on the day of the call. We did not want to deprive students of the sense of accomplishment and pride of leaving the first-rate engineering institute, ”said the official.

Prime Minister Narnedra Modi tweeted praising the call for IIT-Bombay.

“Wonderful mix of tradition and technology! An interesting call in @iitbombay. Great effort. Congratulations to the 2020 class! I fondly remember my visit to this brilliant institution for the August 2018 convocation, ”he tweeted.

At the IIT Kanpur convocation held last week, students received medals online.

“A convocation is a milestone in the educational journey of each student. It is a memorable occasion for students as it celebrates their accomplishments and hard work. It is also a time when teachers can see the fruits of their labor, ”said IIT-Kanpur Director Abhay Karandikar.

Therefore, it was important to make the call despite the COVID situation, but to ensure the safety of the students, it was decided to make the call online and avoid a large concentration on campus, “he said.

“This is the first time the call has been conducted online and we are overwhelmed by the fantastic response from students, as well as faculty members and others who logged in from their homes across the country,” he said. Karandikar.

IIT-Roorkee, which is in the process of planning its convocation, is preparing to make the experience a memorable one for its students.

“The convocation is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our graduate students. We will try to make the virtual convocation memorable even though students and their families will not be able to come to campus to participate, ”said Ajit K Chaturvedi, Director of IIT-Roorkee. However, it did not disclose what is planned.

Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16, when the Center announced the closure of classrooms across the country as part of measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. On March 25, a blockade was imposed across the country and, since June, the restrictions have been easing under the “Unblocking” process.

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