The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay has chosen Khadi angavastrams, a Hindu traditional white piece of cloth or stole, for the convocation ceremony of its graduating batch.
Sources said the institute has ordered 3,500 angavastrams made of honey comb towel cotton Khadi.
Students will drape the piece of cloth over their clothes to mark the occasion.
The move is aimed at evoking a feeling of nationalism in students as Khadi is a "national symbol”, IIT-Bombay director Devang Khakhar said.
But the decision is expected to re-ignite allegations that the government is trying to saffronise education and introduce Hindu elements in top institutions to bolster its cultural agenda.
"IIT- Mumbai chooses Khadi as their convocation robe. After Gujarat University, now khadi has also made a niche in the hearts of authorities of premiere Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai,” said a statement by the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises.
However, according to a report in ibtimes, 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.