Chancellor’s inconvenience forces varsity to postpone special convocation

University of Calicut will confer honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) degrees on noted agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan, economist and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and jurist and former Supreme Court judge Fathima Beevi.

The university had decided to hold the special convocation on September 13, but inconvenience of the Chancellor, Governor H.R. Bharadwaj, and Mr. Ahluwalia forced it to postpone the function.

It was in December 2010 that the university awarded an honorary D.Litt. last. Actor Mammootty, freedom fighter Captain Lakshmi Sahgal and historian Irfan Habib were the last three recipients of D.Litt.

Mammootty accepted the honour from the Chancellor in person and Dr. Habib and Captain Sahgal were represented by others.

No posthumous degree

Although the university had decided to confer D.Litt. on Malayalam novelist Kovilan, his death a few months before the convocation deprived him of the honour. University of Calicut rules do not permit conferring of a degree posthumously.

The awardees

Besides Mammootty, Dr. Habib and Captain Sahgal, the university had conferred D.Litt. oneducationist and first Vice-Chancellor of the university M.M. Ghani; freedom fighter and founder of Mathrubhumi K.P. Kesava Menon; writers S.K. Pottekkad, Vaikom Mohammed Basheer, Kamala Suraiyya, M.T. Vasudevan Nair and N.V. Krishna Warrier; jurist V.R. Krishna Iyer; chief physician and managing trustee of Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala Aryavaidyan P.K. Warrier; artist M.F. Husain; educationist and former chairman of the University Grants Commission Arun Nigavekar; and educationist Amrik Singh.

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