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A quiver full of degrees at 90

Years of hard work and tonnes of research go into getting a doctorate. But this has not deterred Stanislaus S., 90, of Chennai — who already has many undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and diplomas in his quiver — from obtaining one, and, that too, in law.

At an age when many would love to relax and reminisce about their youthful days, he is an inspiration for many youngsters with his resolve to keep enhancing his knowledge. At his house in Nungambakkam, with books as his companion, Mr. Stanislaus spends time preparing for academic excellence. He walks almost everywhere and takes public buses to get to a destination that he cannot walk to. That he says is the secret of his energy at this age.

He has post-graduate degrees in areas, including sociology, political science and law, and is pursuing one in international relations; under-graduate degrees in history and law; diplomas in civil engineering, computer applications and computer hardware; and postgraduate diplomas in criminology and forensic science. The latest is the doctorate for his thesis — Administration of Justice-Special Reference To Death Penalty.

In April 2016, he enrolled as a full-time research scholar at Acharya Nagarjuna University and submitted his thesis in June 2019. He was awarded the doctorate in August 2020. “I started pursuing all this after I retired in 1989 as an engineer from the Military Engineering Service in which I served for over three decades. My wife Ranganayaki Janardhani, who passed away in 2009, was a huge support to me,” says Mr. Stanislaus, whose three children are well-settled.

Asked why he continued studying after retirement, he says, “My parents died when I was young, and my elder brother Amal Dorairaj, who was in the Royal Indian Navy in Mumbai, helped me pursue education. I don’t like to keep idle. I also guide a lot of people, who approach me and help them in whichever way possible,” he says.

Mr. Stanislaus has an ideal in life and he has always emphasised it to his children. “Don’t depend on me, I won’t depend on you. Only then can we rise in life,” he says. Now, he is aiming for one more doctorate in law.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 6:07:18 PM |

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