The first convocation of IIT-Bombay in 1962.
IIT-Bombay renews its ties with khadi for convocation. In picture: The first convocation of IIT-Bombay in 1962.IIT Bombay official website []

The Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, or IIT-Bombay, has renewed its ties with khadi as its fabric of choice for convocations held at the prestigious institution, according to a statement by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. The institute is said to have ordered a few thousand items of khadi cloth.

According to the statement, the university has placed an order for 3,500 uttarias or angavastrams — shawl-like items of clothing worn around the neck — to be worn by students and faculty during convocation. The order will be fulfilled by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, a government body. The uttarias will be made of "honeycomb towel cotton khadi."

"Khadi is our national symbol, and we have adopted Khadi to inculcate feeling of nationalism in the students," the statement quoted Prof Devang Khakhar, the director of IIT-Bombay, as saying. 

However, contrary to the claims by the ministry in the statement, this is not the first time IIT-Bombay will be using khadi in its convocation.

The institute is 64 years old, and has been using khadi uttarias in convocations since the beginning," IIT-Bombay Public Relations Officer Falguni Banerjee Naha told International Business Times India.

The use of khadi since the beginning is evident from the photo used above, which shows the first graduating batch sporting khadi uttarias

The statement also claims that IIT-Bombay has followed in the footsteps of Gujarat University in choosing khadi for its convocation attire. However, it is in reality the Gujarat Technological University, which is a part of the Gujarat University, that has adopted khadi as its fabric of choice for convocation. 

It may be recalled that the Hyderabad University had late last year tried to implement a similar dress code for convocation, but to little avail, with students decrying the move and rejecting it outright.