Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami was conferred an honorary doctorate by a deemed university in Chennai on Sunday. Palaniswami was conferred the "Degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa)," at the 28th convocation of the Dr MGR Educational and Research Institute. This is the first honorary doctorate received by Palaniswami, who became chief minister in 2017.
In his address, Palaniswami greeted the graduating students and others who received honorary doctorates and said it was a moment to take a pledge to fulfill responsibilities towards the growth of the entire mankind. "My responsibilities too have increased with the conferment of the honorary doctorate on me," he said.
He outlined his government's initiatives in the field of education such as free laptops for students, setting up 12 new arts and science colleges, five polytechnic institutions and six law colleges in various places in the state. The school syllabus up to class 12 has been revamped and for the current fiscal, allocation for the school education department was a "whopping Rs 28,957.68 crore," and Rs 4,584.21 crore for higher education, he said.
Previous honorary degrees
University founder chancellor, A C Shanmugam, a former MP and an MLA, said this was the first time the varsity conferred an honorary doctorate on a Chief Minister. Late chief ministers M G Ramachandran, J Jayalalithaa, and M Karunanidhi had been conferred multiple honorary doctorates by various universities.
Shanmugam is also the founder leader of Puthiya Neethi Katchi, which is an ally of the ruling AIADMK. He had unsuccessfully contested the recent Vellore Lok Sabha election on the ruling party's Two-Leaves symbol, losing to the DMK nominee.
Previously on Saturday, the Indian Institute of Technology- Bombay (IIT Bombay) has conferred an honorary Doctor of Science Degree to Nandan Nilekani, the co-founder and Chairman of Infosys. The famed institute decided to honor Nilekani on its 57th Convocation day. Nilekani is also an alumnus of the IIT Bombay.
Apart from being the Co-founder of Infosys Technologies Limited, Bangalore, he is also a former Chairman of UIDAI, Government of India. IIT's decision to confer him with the doctorate degree comes after his meticulous and outstanding work as an industrialist and an advocate of social development with the use of technology.