NEW DELHI: Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar has appealed universities across India to replace their “British-inspired” convocation attire with traditional Indian clothes as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Asserting that Gandhi advocated the use of Khadi, Javadekar suggested that universities ask their students to come up with design options for traditional convocation attire.
“I would like to urge all universities across the country that rather than going for British-inspired clothes for their convocation they should go for traditional Indian clothes. Universities can ask their students to come up with design options or can also refer to some designs posted on HRD Ministry’s website,” Javadekar said in a video message to universities.
“Gandhi also advocated use of Khadi. Due to various initiatives, Khadi sale has gone up by four times hence paving way for the creation of more jobs. This will be an apt tribute to him on his 150th birth anniversary,” he added.
In July 2015, the University Grants Commission (UGC) had asked universities to consider using handloom fabric for ceremonial dresses being prescribed for special occasions like convocations. Following that, many institutions of higher education, including IITs of Kanpur and Bombay introduced traditional attire for convocation ceremonies.
Even before that, at the first IIT-BHU convocation in July 2013, men students wore white dhoti-kurta or pyjama-kurta and women students wore white sari or salwar-kurta, doing away with the colonial black gown and hat.