Veteran Yakshagana artiste Kolyur Ramachandra Rao, chairman of Alva's Education Foundation M. Mohan Alva and the former Union Minister Oscar Fernandes are among the seven persons chosen by Mangalore University for its honorary doctorate to be presented at the 28th convocation on Tuesday.

Others who will receive the honorary doctorate are Rakesh Kumar Bhandari, Director, Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, Kolkata; A.S. Vishnu Bharat, chartered accountant, Bangalore; Madhura M. Chatrapathy, Trustee and Director, Asian Centre for Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Bangalore; and R. Chenraj Jain, Chairman, Jain Group of Institutions, Bangalore.

Stating this at a press conference here on Saturday, T.C. Shivashankara Murthy, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said that Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor would deliver the convocation address.

The Vice-Chancellor said that the university would present a D.Sc. degree, 62 Ph.D. degrees and 30 gold medals and 56 cash prizes at the convocation.

Mr. Rao has a Yakshagana artiste for 64 years. He started performing at 12. He has taken part in more than 15,000 shows.

Mr. Alva has been providing free education, with free food and accommodation under an adoption scheme to several students in his institute. Approximately 700 students have been adopted by the foundation since 1984. He has sponsored 20 to 30 teachers in poor rural schools in and around Moodbidri for the past decade, according to Mr. Murthy. He has set up 20 cottages in Moodbidri for providing food and shelter to elderly people, Mr. Murthy said. Mr. Fernandes was involved in various activities to combat HIV/AIDS. During his term as Minister of State for Labour, he brought unorganised workers under a social security scheme for the first time.

Mr. Bhandari, a nuclear scientist, has been playing a key role in developing the technology related to enrichment and purification of helium gas from hot springs and natural gas wells. As a result, a network of stations to monitor earthquake precursory signals has been set up in the country.Mr. Bharat, a social worker, has set up Vasavi Sharada Hostel in Bangalore, where he provides free shelter, food and educational facilities to 100 girls from economically weaker sections. He was instrumental in establishing the Rashtriya Vidyalaya Integrated School for the Hearing Impaired.

Ms. Chatrapathy has won the Rajyotsava Award. She is a social worker. Mr. Jain has set up Jain Vidyaniketan, which takes care of all basic needs of students, including food, books, uniforms and other study materials, irrespective of their caste or religion . He has sponsored more than 20,000 cataract operations under the Cataract Free Kanakapura Project, according to Mr. Murthy.

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