Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 18 May 2022 8.19 AM IST

Kerala University VC rejects Governor's recommendation; President insulted, not awarded D.Litt


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kerala had promised to confer the honorary D.Litt on the President as recommended by the Governor. However, he was forced to change his decision due to political pressure, sources said. Sources said that President Ram Nath Kovind had decided to visit Kerala to receive an honorary doctorate and that he returned last week in disgrace after the Kerala University changed its decision. This was why the President had to stay at the Raj Bhavan for one day without attending any ceremonies.

In the first week of December, the Governor had summoned the Vice-Chancellor to the Raj Bhavan and directed him to confer an honorary doctorate on the President. The Governor was of the view that the honour and glory of the University of Kerala would be enhanced by honouring the Head of State. The Vice-Chancellor assured that the syndicate would be called and approved soon.

Following this, the Governor informed the Rashtrapati Bhavan that the Kerala University will confer an honorary doctorate on the President. He also informed the President over the phone. It was recommended that the President should come to Thiruvananthapuram during his Kerala visit in December end and that a program should be included so that the President can receive the honorary doctorate at a grand ceremony at the Senate Hall. Accordingly, the President's visit was rescheduled.

The President arrived in Thiruvananthapuram on December 23 after attending ceremonies at the Kasargod Central University and the Kochi Naval Headquarters. After attending the function organised by the PN Panicker Foundation in Poojappura, he had to stay at the Raj Bhavan for an entire day without any significant events. He returned to Delhi on December 24.

Syndicate not interested in awarding honorary D.Litt

According to sources, the VC, who initially gave his consent to the Governor's proposal, came back to the Raj Bhavan a few days later and handed over a letter informing that the syndicate was not interested in awarding honorary D.Litt to the President. When quizzed about the reason, VC verbally informed the Governor that the government and the Chief Minister were not interested in awarding the doctorate to the President. The Governor got outraged with this and alleged that there was destructive political interference in the universities.

Hits back in Kalady

Although the recommendations of the Sanskrit University Syndicate and the Academic Council to award honorary doctorates to actress Shobhana, Carnatic musician TM Krishna and former Vice-Chancellor NP Unni were approved, no dates were given for the award ceremony. The ceremony cannot be held without the Governor.

Should be decided in the syndicate

  • The VC or members of the syndicate may recommend an honorary doctorate. The Vice-Chancellor must present this to the Syndicate and make a decision.
  • The Senate should be convened to discuss the Syndicate's decision. If approved by two-thirds, it must be sent to the Chancellor for approval.

Honorary D.Litt for Mohanlal, Mammootty

Kerala University has awarded honorary D.Litt to prominent personalities such as Yesudas, ONV Kurup, Amartya Sen and Mammootty. Mohanlal and Mammootty have received honorary doctorates from Calicut University.

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