The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) gave away 2,38,276 degrees and diplomas at its 27{+t}{+h}annual convocation on Wednesday. However, teachers in the university were surprised to see a negligible amount of students actually present at the convocation.

“Many teachers were disappointed as the usual joy of the graduating students was missing. The graduates, who otherwise would have been a part of the main convocation function at the IGNOU headquarters, were apparently accommodated in the Siri Fort auditorium. I wrote to the Vice-Chancellor that this arrangement was a bad idea,” said Prof. P.R Ramanujam, adding that he had also pointed out that if space was a constraint, then the teachers would have agreed to be present at Siri Fort itself. It had been taken care of in the past and the logistics would not have been difficult to arrange. Furthermore, the finances would not be a problem either.

“As the expenditure, we collect convocation fee from all the students,” he added. The convocation on Wednesday was simultaneously held at 53 regional centres across the country. The chief guest was Human Resource Ministry's Higher Education Secretary Ashok Thakur.

Education New Zealand (ENZ), which is New Zealand’s government agency for international education, has announced 15 exclusive scholarships for Indian students. The “Christchurch Educated Skills Scholarships” offers the opportunity to study in Christchurch, New Zealand on scholarships valued at around Rs. 75 lakh.

Skills scholarships are available to graduates of reputable institutions in India who hold an undergraduate qualification related to one of the identified skills areas and who can meet the post-study work experience. The applications have already opened and the last date for applying is May 16. The scholarships will be awarded in early June for the period of study which will begin in August. More information, is available at http://www.

The Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia chapter recently organised its annual meet, ‘ A Jamia Campus across the Sea’. Over 400 Jamia alumni and their families participated in the event, in addition to the representatives of other alumni associations and social organisations. The children of the alumni and their guests participated in drawing and painting competition. The meritorious children were awarded and consolation prizes were given to all participating children.

This year’s get together was themed ‘Ideals and Values of Jamia Millia Islamia: Preservation and Dissemination’ by Jamia Overseas Alumni.

Vijetha S.N