Honorary Doctor of Law conferred on him for his business achievements and philanthropic work

Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group of Companies, has been made an Honorary Doctor of Law by the University of Cambridge in recognition of his business achievements and philanthropic work.

The degree was conferred on him at a traditional, formal ceremony presided over by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, who is also the Chancellor of the university.

A citation in Latin, read out by the University Orator, referred to the Tatas' Nano car saying: “Indeed buying a car was once an expensive affair, which the majority in India could scarcely imagine. But then our honour came along and produced the Tata Nano, the cheapest car ever built. ‘I hope this changes the way people travel in rural India,' he says. ‘We are a country of a billion, and most are denied connectivity'.”

The citation further said: “There stands before us a respected entrepreneur from a line of outstanding and successful businessmen. He is a reformer, never slow to adopt new ways of doing business, nor to enter new markets and take his business into foreign countries. He is, you might say, a true high-flier. [And he likes to pilot his own aeroplane.] But you will not find him in the rich-lists or among the super-wealthy. His model and exemplar is his great-grandfather Jamsetji Tata, who inspired his descendants to philanthropy with the philosophy that they should give back to the people what they have earned from them.”

Describing him as a “modest and private man,” the Orator said: “I fear that it would cause him embarrassment if I were to mention the thousands who have received relief from natural disasters, the many young scholars whose studies have been supported in India and abroad, or the Tata Professorship of Metallurgy established here at Cambridge.”

Meets academics

A university spokesman said Mr. Tata and colleagues from the Tata Group met a number of academics, including Professor Harry Bhadeshia, the Tata Steel Professor of Metallurgy, and other members of the Cambridge-India Partnership.

“His delegation was given tours of the Electrical Engineering Division and the Institute for Manufacturing where latest research was showcased,” he said.

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