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July 28, 2011 / IANS, CHANDIGARH / DC.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is undoubtedly one of the most distinguished students to have ever studied at Panjab University. But his name seems to be curiously missing from a list of those given an honorary doctorate of law degree.
A Right to Information (RTI) inquiry by activist Rajinder K. Singla 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.
However, it's common knowledge that the university had organised a special convocation for its most distinguished student Nov 3, 2009, and conferred on him the same degree.
"The university had hosted a special convocation on November 3, 2009, to award a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa), to Manmohan Singh, incurring huge public money for the event," Singla said.
"The registration branch of the university has disclosed that a total of 74 honoris causa doctorate degrees have been awarded by the university in the field of law, literature, science and oriental learning since 1949 till February 2011.
"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," Singla said.
But the activist said that in the case of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh alone the university has conferred on the same person two degrees honoris causa - a Doctor of Literature (D.Litt.) and a Doctor of Laws.
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