The Centre is on its way to strike down the western tradition of students wearing a robe or gown during their convocation event in universities and subsequently, introduce an Indian ethnic attire.
The Centre is on its way to strike down the western tradition of students wearing a robe or gown during their convocation in universities and subsequently, introduce an Indian ethnic attire.
The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry met Thursday in the national capital where they agreed on elimination of convocations gowns and caps that carry the legacy of the British colonial past of India, the Hindustan Times reported.
The HRD ministry would notify the public shortly and seek their suggestions to decide the new type of dress—both Indian and modern—in order to replace the ‘academic regalia’ i.e. the gown worn during convocation.
Currently, all the Indian universities and higher education institutions have their own version of the regalia.
A ministry source told the newspaper that along with suggestions, they were also going to ask people send in designs.
Madhya Pradesh came out as the first state to point at the issue and try and changing the attire.
Last year, the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai got “uttarias or angavastrams" (a lighter version of shawl) made of khadi cotton for students to wear at their convocation ceremony.
The institute has used khadi to invoke nationalist feelings among students, the Mumbai institute’s director Devang Khakhar told PTI.
This year, IIT Kanpur has chosen Kurtas, Pyjamas (for men), and churidaars (for women) as their convocation dress.
The tradition of academic regalia or academic dress originated in the West where it was worn by academics as an uniform in the ancient universities of late Middle Ages.
The regalia is worn by students only during their convocation ceremonies where they are given certificates after completing graduation, masters or doctoral degrees.The attire—a robe and a cap, also known as a tam—is similar to what the clergy wore in 12th century. The scholarly Anglican clergies dominated the universities and the “gown”, as far as history of Britain’s Oxford University goes, used to differentiate the students from the “town” or townspeople.