Manmohan Singh's name missing from Honorary list?

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Chandigarh, Jul 28: It seems that the Punjab University has long forgotten one of its distinguished ex-students. Its our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. His name seems to be curiously missing from a list of those given an honorary doctorate of law degree.

Manmohan Singh was a student at the university in the 1950s and later joined the Department of Economics here. He went on to become a professor in the department at the young age of 32.

The university in 2009 had also announced the setting up of a Dr Manmohan Singh chair in the economics department -- the first instance of a chair being established in the name of a living personality.

But, according to an RTI, it shows that the prime minister's name does not figure in the list of those honoured by the university with a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) degree since 1949.

"The university had hosted a special convocation Nov 3, 2009, to award a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa), to Manmohan Singh, incurring huge public money for the event," RTI activist Rajinder K. Singla said.

"As per the RTI reply, no individual has so far been awarded twice with such honorary degrees. Accordingly, Dr Manmohan Singh has been awarded with only D.Litt. on March 12, 1983, but not any Doctor of Laws.

"I cannot understand why the university is trying to hide information about conferring two honoris causa degrees on Manmohan Singh. I think that PU authorities take RTI information very casually," he added.

The university has so far awarded Doctor of Law degrees to 25 people, including the country's first home minister Vallabhbhai Patel (1949), former prime minister Indira Gandhi (1973), former prime minister Inder Kumar Gujral (1999) and Union Minister Kapil Sibal (2006), among others.

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