Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the 22nd convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati through video-conferencing on Tuesday.

The convocation is being held online due to the pandemic situation. Virtual reality based avatars of students will collect their degrees and medal from the director’s avatar.

Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Union Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre, and other dignitaries were also present in the online event.

“I also request IIT Guwahati to establish a Center for disaster management and risk reduction. This center will also provide expertise in dealing with the disasters of this area, and will also turn disasters into opportunities,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi added, “North-east region is the center of Act-East policy. This region is also a gateway of relations between India and South-east Asia.”

“I firmly believe that the future of a nation is what its youth thinks today, your dreams are going to shape the reality of India. This time is to be future-ready. I can feel how difficult it has been for you to conduct academic sessions, continue research work, in the time of COVID. But still, you achieved this success. I congratulate you for your efforts and contribution towards making the country self-reliant,” PM said.

A total of 1,803 students including 687 BTech and 637 MTech students received their degrees today. The convocation ceremony was streamed live on YouTube and Facebook.