It was a plain, white affair at the Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University convocation on Saturday. The university conducted its seventh convocation for 3,392 graduands of five campuses minus the ceremonial robe. There was no gown. No head gear either.

The institution had tweaked the dress code, asking the men to wear dhoti and white shirt and the women to drape sari. “We chose to make the whole affair culturally rich by giving a very Indian dress to those receiving degree certificates,” says Venkat Rangan, Vice-Chancellor.

“It is in keeping with the university's belief in Indian values and culture.”

The university has been doing so since its first convocation, he says and credits the rather unusual dress code to Brahmachari Abhayamrita Chaitanya, Pro-Chancellor.

The dress code also found a mention in the speech of Gururaj Deshpande, the chief guest.

In his speech he complimented the management for the unique attire.

And the dress code did find support in students. “It is very much in sync with the Indian way of receiving a degree,” says Vivek Menon, who received his doctorate in computer science.

The new dress is also comfortable, he says and adds that the knowledge from the West complements the dress from the East.