IIIT Hyderabad Celebrates eConvocation 2021

·6-min read

523 students graduate, largest number in the institute's history 18 PhDs and 118 masters with thesis Convocation speaker Turing awardee Prof Yosuha Bengio, University of Montreal and Mila (Quebec AI Institute) HYDERABAD, India, July 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIITH) conducted its 20th convocation online this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and live-streamed the eConvocation. It graduated 523 students and a record number of 18 PhDs and 118 Masters with thesis.

Over 26% of today's graduates - 136 out of 523 - earned their degree based on a high-quality thesis. Graduates of IIITH's Dual-Degree, Master of Science and Ph.D programmes continue to make their mark in top universities and product groups globally.

The past academic year was unique due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The institute continued to teach all its courses online using the best practices and technological tools available.

Aadilmehdi J Sanchawala, B.Tech Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) was awarded the IIIT gold medal in recognition of his outstanding academic performance. The B.Tech Best All-rounder award was presented to Vakada Lakshmi Sireesha (dual degree in CSE) and Aashna Jena Dual Degree in Computation Linguistics. Fourteen students received programme gold medals.

The Covid-19 pandemic did not affect placements. A total of 93 companies registered for conducting placements and made job offers to IIITH's graduating students.

In his eConvocation address, Prof Yosuha Bengio, University of Montreal and Mila (Quebec AI Institute) encouraged the graduates to give meaning to their lives by helping society with their expertise and helping the next generation of researchers bloom.

Commending the graduating students and their parents, Prof. P J Narayanan, Director, IIITH, said, 'I congratulate the graduating students and their parents for their achievements. The world is going through unprecedented challenges right in front of our eyes. This is truly an opportunity to apply the knowledge, skills, and attitude gained in IIIT Hyderabad to alleviate the problems of the world, while enriching yourselves in multiple ways. I am confident you will do it admirably and make the institute proud. I urge you to stay connected with the institute so that your efforts and ours are amplified. Great institutions are fundamentally defined and owned by its alumni. It has been our privilege to play a small role in your journey of life and you will be in our thoughts forever.' Turing award winner Prof. Raj Reddy, Chairman, Governing Council of IIIT-Hyderabad also dialled in to the eConvocation from the US to admit students to their degrees and congratulated the graduating students.

The eConvocation is viewable at https://www.iiit.ac.in/notice/20thConvocation/.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR - The graduating batch consists of 523 students (135 UG, 270 PG and 118 MSIT). apart from 18 Ph.Ds and 118 Masters with thesis. This has been the largest number of graduates in the institute's history.

- 12 new regular faculty members joined the institute last year and 7 are yet to join. Two existing faculty were promoted. One faculty member retired. Faculty are given the flexibility of teaching loads to concentrate more on research, which creates a unique environment highly conducive to research. 6 faculty members were awarded faculty research award grants/Unrestricted grants from Adobe Systems, Facebook, Google and Qualcomm.

IIITH started two new initiatives aimed at applying its research strengths to societal problems. The first is INAI, an effort to integrate AI research with population-scale problems in the Indian context, combining research and translation. INAI was set up in collaboration with Intel and the Government of Telangana. The second initiative is a Centre for Technology in Service of the Society named for Prof Raj Reddy. Prof Reddy has been passionate about research that benefits people at the bottom of the pyramid in society. The main objective of this initiative is to celebrate and amplify his passion in education and research for marginalized sections of society.

- The institute has taken up an ambitious goal of enhancing Wikipedia in Indian languages tenfold, starting with Telugu. We are working with the central and state governments, Wikimedia Foundation, and other partners like Telugu University to create digital resources, productivity enhancement tools, training material, and to conduct several community development activities.

- IHub-Data at IIIT Hyderabad is one of the Technology Innovation Hubs that has been established as part of the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems. The hub focuses on data driven technologies in Healthcare, Mobility, and other areas addressing India specific challenges. The mandate of the Hub is to develop datasets that will fuel applied research in these areas, and result in technologies/products that will make an impact to the larger society. Currently, we have undertaken problems such as Technology for Road Safety, Cancer Screening and Diagnostics, Mental/Neuro Health, etc. in collaboration with various academic, industry and healthcare partners.

- The team of faculty, research students, research staff, and undergraduate students produced 469 papers in top rated conferences and peer reviewed journals. There was no chance to travel during Covid-19 pandemic yet, our faculty and students presented their papers orally in several top tier conferences virtually. In all, 15 of our Ph.D. students have external competitive fellowships from TCS, Google, Visvesvaraya, etc. and several more students qualified for CSIR and UGC grants. Three Dual Degree programme students were supported by Huawei Technologies India Pvt Ltd with scholarships worth Rs. 7.5 lakhs.

- IIITH alumni have contributed a total of Rs. 1.6 crores towards a scholarship program for needy students. Since November 2020 64 lakhs was added to the fund. 54 students have received financial assistance through this Alumni Fund, and 28 student beneficiaries have returned the favor by sponsoring another. The Alumni Giving Month fundraising campaign to mitigate Covid impact raised around 20 lakhs between Nov 25- Dec 25 2020. The alumni also helped raise 33 lakhs to enable a cochlear implant of our staff's daughter and 21.6 lakhs towards Byagari Krishna's Memorial Fund.

About IIIT-Hyderabad: The International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) is an autonomous research university founded in 1998 that focuses on the core areas of Information Technology, such as Computer Science, Electronics and Communications, and their applications in other domains through inter-disciplinary research that has a greater social impact. Some of its research domains include Visual Information Technologies, Human Language Technologies, Data Engineering, VLSI and Embedded Systems, Computer Architecture, Wireless Communications, Algorithms and Information Security, Robotics, Building Science, Earthquake Engineering, Computational Natural Sciences and Bioinformatics, Education Technologies, Power Systems, IT in Agriculture and e-Governance.

Website: www.iiit.ac.in PWR PWR

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