After seven long years, the sixth convocation of Jahangirnagar University (JU) will be held on February 25. Activities to arrange the convocation are going in full swing around the campus.
The officials of the administration are having a busy time. However, due to various complications, more than half of the graduates are not participating in this biggest convocation in the university's history.
As a part of the arrangement, banners with congratulatory greetings have already been drawn at every important intersection. Tree altars have been repaired, and flower saplings have been planted on the side of the main road adjacent to Shahid Minar. Preparations are underway for the main convocation event at the central playground.
According to the information of the examination controller office of the university, a total of 31 thousand 716 graduates, including 12 thousand 468 graduates (honours), 10 thousand 371 postgraduates, 8 thousand 75 people in weekend programs and 802 MPhil-PhD were supposed to participate.
However, member secretary of the convocation registration committee, Syed Mohammad Ali Reza, said that a total of 15 thousand 219 graduates have registered to participate in the convocation. Among them are 11 thousand 444 regular and postgraduates, 3 thousand 461 people from weekend programs, 34 people with MPhil degrees and 280 people who have completed a PhD. That is, about 16 thousand 497 graduates are not participating in this year's convocation.
Speaking to several graduates who wanted to participate in the convocation, it was learned that they could not complete the registration on time due to technical glitches in the registration website, server complications, hassles in hall clearance and procedural errors.
The members of the convocation management committee said that none of them would be able to participate in the convocation.
In this convocation, a total of 16 students will be awarded gold medals in three categories. 8 people will be awarded 'Asadul Kabir Gold Medal' in the graduate category, 7 people will be awarded 'Sharfuddin Gold Medal' in the postgraduate category and 'Mofassil Uddin Ahmed Trust Fund Gold Medal' will be awarded to one with the highest results in the post-graduation of the department of Philosophy.
Chancellor of the University and President of the State Advocate Abdul Hamid will attend the convocation, where the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dr Md. Nurul Alam will preside over, and Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique will be the convocation speaker.
Comptroller of the university Mosanul Kabir said,
"Various sub-committees have been formed to organise the convocation. Funds have been allocated based on their proposals. We thought 25 thousand students would participate. Thus the expenditure was estimated at around 11.5 crores to 12 crore taka. Now that the number of participants is less, it will decrease. Since there are many miscellaneous expenses around the convocation, the budget was not done that way.
He added, "The budget of the pandal has been estimated at 1 crore 55 lakhs. The sub-committee in charge of the pandal has decided to call the tender after checking the market price."
Treasurer of the university, Professor Dr Rasheda Akhtar, said to FE, "A tentative budget was made for the convocation. The finance sub-committee of the convocation formed with Senate members took a budget of around 11 crore taka. We expected 25 thousand students, but due to the decrease in applicants, the work order has been reduced. The UGC gave us taka 12 lakh. In the fifth convocation it gave around taka 24 lakh."
"The university does not have any sector to contribute financially due to the sorry state of recurring budget. But we will get some sponsorship from various business organisations, banks and industries though we will not get any humongous amount from sponsorship. It will be difficult to raise even one crore," she explained.
She further said, "Though the convocation is taking place after a long time, many students are participating, and all work of convocation is going on smoothly. We are in a manageable situation. Convocation souvenirs are in the press to print, and souvenir mugs, pens and other gifts for graduates will arrive soon. We hope to complete the convocation without any hassle.
The convocation of Jahangirnagar University has been held only five times in 52 years. The fifth convocation was held last in 2015 during the time of Vice-Chancellor Professor Farzana Islam. 23 gold medals were awarded to 18 students out of 9,000 graduates, MPhil and PhD degree holders of the service then.