Annual Convocation
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The annual convocation, held every year on 22 November, forms an integral part of the Academic Calendar for all stakeholders of SSSIHL. The sentiments of this special day are aptly reflected in the oath that the students take on the Convocation ceremony, in the Divine presence of the Revered Founder Chancellor.
Over the last three decades, Presidents, Prime Ministers and Cabinet Ministers of the Government of India, Chief Ministers and Governors of Indian States, ardent devotees and many educationists and legal luminaries have participated in the Convocation ceremony and proceedings.
The highlights of the function are the conferring of the various Doctoral Degrees and Gold Medals, addresses by the Vice-Chancellor and the Chief Guest, and the Benedictory Message by the Revered Chancellor. The programme concludes with a play staged by the students of the Institute, focusing on the unique lessons learnt by them in the University. These plays are guided by the Revered Founder Chancellor and the student's love for Him motivates them to give their best performance.

SSSIHL XXXV Annual Convocation - A Report

22 November 2016 | Sai Kulwant Hall
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed to be University) held its 35th Annual Convocation at Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam in the Divine Presence at 10:30 a.m. As the university turns thirty-five, the event is a testimony of how the education model based on values-based education at the university level has stood the test of time and continues to thrive
The Annual Convocation
The chief guest of the 335th Annual Convocation was Dr. R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt. of India and Homi Bhabha Professor - Department of Atomic Energy. Dr. Chidambaram is a highly decorated Physicist who has served in the best interests of the country for several decades. He is best known for playing an integral role in India's nuclear weapons program. He coordinated the test preparation for the Pokhran-I (1975) and Pokhran-II (1998).
The format, planning and execution of the SSSIHL convocation ceremony is second to none. The ceremonial procession was led by the university brass band, two students carrying the University Standards on either side of the Registrar (who carried the Ceremonial Mace). Other members of the procession included the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Deans and the Heads of Departments along with the Chief Guest, members of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and the Board of Management.
Following the invocatory veda chanting, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. K B R Varma prayed to the Revered Founder Chancellor to declare the convocation open. The Convocation was then declared open in the Divine voice of Bhagawan Baba.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Speech
In his speech to the students, the Vice-Chancellor highlighted that the Sri Sathya Sai model of education is of great importance in a fast-moving world that is driven by materialistic concerns. He recalled the milestones that the university has made in the past thirty-five years. This included the growth of the university campuses (now totalling four), the pursuit of academic excellence and the focus on need-based research. He highlighted key research achievements across various disciplines in the past academic year such as low-cost multi-modal microscope, and Microbial fuel cells for waste water treatment.

 
 
Degrees and Gold Medals to Graduands
Following this, 498 candidates for the various programmes of study were admitted to their various degrees (undergraduate, postgraduate and professional programmes as well as 28 Gold Medallists, and ten Ph.D. awardees) by the Honourable Chancellor, Justice M N Venkatachaliah, former Chief Justice of India.
The convocation oath was then administered by the Vice-Chancellor, after which the Gold Medallists of the university were honoured. These fine women and men students excelled in the Faculties of Sciences, Management & Commerce and Economics & Humanities during the academic year 2015/16.

 
 
The Chief Guest’s Address
Dr. R Chidambaram then delivered his chief guest’s address. He said that for any profound work to be achieved, an ecosystem is critically important. He then narrated the ongoing progress of the government to equip India with an ecosystem that will enable it to become a developed nation in time to come, especially in the areas of higher education, scientific research and technological development.
He remarked that great scientific progress must not come at the cost of the loss of character. Character, he said, means integrity; it means the pursuit of excellence within an individual’s limitations, the commitment of national and social causes and also a commitment to justice and social equity.
India is now well on its way to become a ‘developed country’ he said. However, we must strive to make it a knowledge-driven economy. If, at the same time, we retain our spiritual and cultural heritage, then India will become a ‘great country’ in the fullest sense of the term, or more correctly, restore to itself the greatness that was its in the past. What better place than this Institute for learning the spiritual and cultural heritage of India, as you gain the knowledge in your own areas of specialization, he concluded.
The Divine Benediction
Finally, the graduands were blessed with the divine convocation benediction by the Revered Founder Chancellor, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Bhagawan stressed on the pitiful situation of modern students, who are bereft of direction in a society starved of goodness. He said the proper study of mankind is man. He encouraged students to imbibe Indian culture and become good citizens and live a life that is acceptable to all.
He concluded by telling His students to not only be good, but encourage others to tread the sacred path.
The event ended at 12:45 p.m. following the national anthem and Managala Aarti.

 
 

Drama: Rang-e-mohabbat (The Colour of Love)

The drama was always an important part of the annual convocation at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. Our Revered Founder Chancellor would Himself write the script and take keen interest in these dramas. The uniqueness of the dramas is that they are conceived and produced by students of the university. All the aspects of the drama such as sets, costumes, makeup, music, etc. are entirely produced by the students.
The notion that faith comes first and then experience was beautifully highlighted in this year’s convocation drama. The story focused on the journey of perseverance of Vijay, a smart, brilliant and ambitious child from a small town who dreams big.
When Vijay tops the state in his secondary school exam, he is already set one step in the future of his lifelong dream to pursue engineering, for which he requests his father, Mr. Laxman, to fulfil his desire. But Mr. Laxman naïvely gets caught in the ways of the world and loses the funding he had saved up for his son’s education.
Thus begins Vijay’s quest to fulfil his ambitions. The story highlights the different colours of love that life throws at Vijay and how—eventually—all the dots connect. The drama unfolds the unique transformation of Vijay from an arrogant and ambitious graduate to a devoted and humble young man. A transformation that only the Love of Sai can bring about.
This was followed by bhajans, prasadam distribution and Managala Aarti, marking the end of the XXXV Annual Convocation of SSSIHL.

 
 
I hereby solemnly declare and promise that, if admitted to the degree for which I have been duly recommended, I will in my daily life and conversation, and in thought, word and deed, conduct myself as befits a member of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning; that I will to the utmost of my capacity and opportunity, support the cause of sound learning, humanity, morality and spirituality; and that as far as lies in me, I shall uphold and advance the social and indeed all round welfare of my countrymen and fellowmen.
Convocation Oath, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
© Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Vidyagiri, Prasanthi Nilayam - 515 134, India.