It was an evening of virtual goodbyes and motivating speeches as Bennett University said goodbye to its Batch of 2020. The evening witnessed over 400 students from PhD (2016-2020), MBA (2018-20), MBA (BFSI) (2017-19), B.Tech. (2016-2020), BA J&MC (2017-2020), PGD-BJ (2019-2020), PGD-DM (2019-2020), and BBA (2017-2020), being conferred their degrees as per schedule, despite the coronavirus pandemic. The virtual convocation was attended by Chancellor Vineet Jain, Vice Chancellor Raghunath K. Shevgaonkar, Chief Guest Aamir Khan, Guest of Honour Raju Narisetti and Executive Director, BCCL, Revati Jain, along with families and teachers of the students.
Congratulating the students, Chancellor Vineet Jain, said, “The pandemic has taken a huge and tragic toll on lives and livelihoods. But every disruption, every upheaval in human history has led to new ways of thinking, and winning. And since we’re at a university convocation, let me predict that it will enhance the quality of education by combining the best of online with offline. It’ll act as a force multiplier for faster, deeper and more meaningful learning.”
Vice Chancellor Raghunath K. Shevgaonkar added, “As much as we wanted to hold this convocation of the founding batches for Engineering and Journalism and Mass Communication with a big celebration, the pandemic coerced us to restrain ourselves to hold it in online mode. We assure all the graduating students that as soon as the situation improves, we will celebrate together an alumni event on campus.”
Congratulating the graduating students, Aamir said, “While you all go on to be really successful, what would be great is that in this journey of yours if you can touch people’s hearts, make them happy, that’s something that we can leave behind, the moments that we have given to people. I really want to congratulate you all for what you have achieved and for completing your graduation. A new chapter in your life unfolds from here onwards, one which is full of opportunities, excitement, adventure and I hope is fulfilling for all of you. Go out and have fun, and while you are having fun, see if you can be sensitive to others. All the best to you all, and the Bennett University for the great job that they are doing.”
Talking about his own journey, Aamir added, “I remember by the time I was 16, I was pretty clear this is the field I want to be in. Cinema is the world I want to be in, a world of stories, of characters, of touching people’s hearts, make them smile and cry, and that excited me. I got to know this at a very young age, which is not very usual.”
“One of my biggest learning in life has been when I was doing Satyamev Jayate because I have lived a very sheltered life. When you live in Mumbai , you don’t come to know what’s happening at the grassroots. When I did Satyamev Jayate, I got to know so many things about my life, country, society, challenges we face, the kind of courage we have as people. I got to learn so much about my own country. I wish I had thought of this idea when I was 18 or 19,” Aamir added.
Raju Narisetti was conferred the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) in Media Management at the convocation. Raju is a Times School of Journalism alumnus. He began his journalism career at The Economic Times in Delhi before moving to the US. At The Wall Street Journal, over 14 years, he went from a summer reporting intern to become the editor of WSJ Europe, and then Managing Editor, Digital, of the global WSJ. He shared, “My education began with BCCL. I was one of the early students of Times School of Journalism and we had the best teachers. It was not even a university but that did not matter. What mattered was that who taught us, what they taught us and what we take with that education. I have been 30 years in the industry but the difference has been my contribution that I could give because of my foundation and education in India.”