The 28th Annual Convocation of the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics took place on 24th September 2022 at the Kale Hall on campus. It was presided over by Chancellor Dr Rajiv Kumar, former head of the Niti Aayog. Milind Deshmukh, secretary of the Servants of India Society and other office bearers from SIS were also present.
Lord Meghnad Desai, a British economist, teacher, author and politician was the chief guest. According to tradition at the Institute, the annual lecture in the memory of Rao Bahadur R R Kale, the founder of Gokhale Institute, is held on the convocation day. Lord Desai delivered the 83rd Kale Memorial Lecture on the political economy of poverty.
You can watch the ceremony on YouTube here.
The Convocation ceremony, which could not be held in-person for two years due to the pandemic, took place on 24 September, 2022. Two batches of graduating students were awarded their degrees, and while 455 students were eligible, 336 students physically attended the function. The last convocation featured Nobel laureate Dr Abhijit Banerjee as the chief guest in a virtual set up.
Vice Chancellor Ajit Ranade kicked off the the function by reciting a Sanskrit verse:
ॐ सह नाववतु । सह नौ भुनक्तु । सह वीर्यं करवावहै । तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै।
It translates to:
Together may we move. Together may we relish. Together may we perform with vigour. May what has been studied by us be filled with brilliance, may it not give rise to hostility.
He said that learning is a collective enterprise. He asked students to come together to debate, have informed discourse, and engage in rigorous dialogue in the journey of learning.
In a short and meaningful speech, Chancellor Dr Kumar advised the graduating students: “Do not continue to be the back-office of the world. Rather, be the front-office of a global economy that will lead the world and India into the future.”
Lord Desai’s speech on the political economy of poverty featured a radical re-look at poverty. He urged graduating students to think of poverty and well-being as something that cannot be reduced to mere calories. “We must adopt a humanistic view with respect to economics and poverty rather than just focusing on number-crunching,” he said from the podium at the Kale Hall.
“Economics is all about living people and what they do. Unless you observe people, you cannot really be an economist,” said Desai.