12 Mar 2020 21:38 IST

B-schools postpone convocations as Covid-19 cases rise

IIMs at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Indore, Lucknow and Ranchi; WeSchool and XLRI defer the event

Celebrations can wait as B-schools from across the country have shelved their convocations following advisories from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the World Health Organization (WHO) to avoid large gatherings to counter the spread of Covid-19.

IIMs at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Indore, Lucknow, Ranchi, Shillong and Kashipur; SP Mandali’s Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research (WeSchool), Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad, and XLRI-Xavier School of Management have deferred the event.

The ceremony at IIM Ahmedabad was to take place on March 21. “The decision has been taken to preclude any risks to students and their extended families and friends as well as to the faculty and employees of the institute,” said the institute.

XLRI, India’s oldest B-school, has postponed its 64th convocation for an ‘unspecified time’. A spokesperson of XLRI told BusinessLine: “We generally have around 1,300 people during a convocation. At this point, it is not advisable to have such a large gathering. Some of them might have travelled abroad. This is the probably the first time in the history of the institute that a convocation ceremony has been postponed.”

G Raghuram, Director, IIM-Bangalore, said: “We will continuously monitor the situation and when we feel that the situation enables us, the new date for the convocation will be decided. The respective programme offices will get in touch with students regarding the receipt of the degrees.”

The two-day convocation ceremony at IIM-Indore was scheduled from March 24. As a precaution, the biometric attendance has been discontinued at the institute. Himanshu Rai, Director, told BusinessLine: “We are taking precautions on campus — no more biometric attendance for staff and students; providing sanitisers in every classroom and office or department; conducting awareness sessions regarding coronavirus and advising the community to immediately visit the on-campus medical centre if they have any flu-like symptoms.”

Apart from the graduation ceremony, WeSchool has also put off conferences and seminars till further notice. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, said: “WeSchool has deployed a sizeable task force led by WeSchool leadership and two doctors among the healthcare management faculty. Additional standees, posters and videos are being deployed to increase awareness about hand-wash hygiene and respiratory hygiene. An isolation room has been made available for anyone falling ill, and a doctor is available on call.”