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It has become an increasing norm to honour people, especially celebrities from different walks of life, with honorary degrees and doctorates. Do you think it is OK to do so? Participate in this animated active GD and discuss both sides of the coin. Closing date: 29th January 2017.
  • Category: General

    Should celebrities be conferred with honorary degrees & doctorates - active GD

    Should a university confer an honorary degree or doctorate on just about anybody, whether a celebrity or an academician or a general member of the public, even if the person has not earned it?

    Just now a TV news channel reported that Rahul Dravid did not accept a doctorate degree from Bangalore University. He stated that he would prefer to earn it through research in sports rather than get it as an honorary degree.

    What are your views on this? Is it right for universities to confer an honorary degree or a doctorate on a celebrity, or anybody else for that matter, without them actually earning it through academics? Suppose the person is a teacher or an administrative academician but has not got the degree or doctorate through the normal avenue of studying for it / doing research. Is it Ok to confer them with it as an honorary qualification?

    Participate in this active GD by posting your views in this thread. A few members will be selected as the best participants and will be awarded Rs.100/- each.

    Last date to post your views: 29th January 2017.
  • #589173
    Normally during annual convocation, the Universities do honor some great personalities with honorary degrees or doctorate , who have excelled in their own field and earned the public reputation. It is unfortunate that Rahul Dravid has rejected the doctorate and instead want to earn it with academic qualification. For a University it is a great honor to present such degrees or doctorates even the person is not their alumni or not concerned to their University at all. It is the rare gesture and that should not be discarded. There would be committee in every University which decides who must be invited for the function and who must be awarded the degrees and the doctorates. By rejecting the offer Rahul Dravid has displayed his arrogance and less importance to education as his rejection amounts to insult to the Bengaluru University.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #589184
    I do support it. Universities can confer honorary doctorate / master's degree to celebrities. Before getting into the discussion, let's first have an in-depth knowledge of what exactly this master's or doctorate degree is? Who is entitled to receive this?

    So far to my knowledge, a master's degree is awarded to students by universities / colleges on completion of a course of study in a specific field. It implies that the students who mastered a specific field are expected to have higher / better knowledge with higher skills than those who have not mastered in the specific area.

    Similarly a doctorate (Ph.D - Doctor of Philosophy) is awarded to students (known as research scholars) on completion of a course of study and on submitting a dissertation (thesis). The researchers who are awarded with doctorate degree get the title Dr. (Doctor) prefixed to their name e.g. Dr. XYZ.

    Accordingly, when there is notable contribution of a person (here celebrity) to a specific field be it sports or film industry, the person might get in-depth knowledge in his / her field (not necessarily for all) though he / she has not undergone the regular course of study.

    I feel when a person has vast knowledge in his / her field and when the person's contribution to the specific field / society is remarkable, there is nothing wrong in awarding honorary master / doctoral degree to such personalities.

    Though a majority of universities offer honorary degrees, there are some universities which do not award honorary degrees.

    Thanks & Regards

  • #589189
    At the outset, I thank Ms. Vandana, our ME, for initiating a debate on a contemporary issue which is now being discussed and debated in various platforms.
    In the first part of my response, I would like to discuss about awarding honorary Doctorate degree. An honorary degree, in Latin, 'honoris causa', is an academic degree for which a university (or any other degree-awarding institution) has waived the usual requirements. This means for awarding honorary degree of Doctorate, the conferring University waives the usual requirement of Masters degree in the subject and submission of research paper completed under an University-appointed guide. The degree is generally conferred as a way of honouring a distinguished person's contributions to a specific field or to the society.
    Many celebrities and sportspersons including cricketers have been awarded honorary Doctorate degree from different Universities. Some Indian sportspersons who have got honorary degrees are Sunil Gavaskar, M.S. Dhoni, Prakash Padukone, Geet Shethi, etc.
    Not only honorary Doctorate degrees, some sportspersons also received honorary rank of Armed Forces. Kapil Dev became honorary Lt.-Colonel of Territorial Army. M.S. Dhoni also received the rank of honorary Lt.-Colonel of elite Para Regiment of Indian Army.
    In the next part of my response, I would deal with the rationale behind conferring these honorary degrees and ranks to the celebrities.

    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #589191
    I think celebreties shouldn't be given such doctrates especially when they are totally unrelated to the honur they are given.
    I agree with the point of view that Rahul dravid shared about earning the degree instead of getting it as honrary degree.
    And if college and universities want to praise and honur a sportsperson or a actor they should provide them with prizes and other honurable gestures but not things like conferring a doctarate degree even if it is honrary.
    One reason is that these celebraties who are conferes with such degrees are mostly not related to the field they get doctarate.
    And other than that it is kind of negative impact for those students who earn such titles after years of study and research it is like comparing two entirely unrelated things.

    "It is hardest thing in the world to be good thinker without being a good self examiner"

  • #589192
    [Response removed by Admin. Read forum policies.]

  • #589193
    Neelam and Himanshu there is no necessity for having any academic qualification or education at the same University but still the celebrities can be accorded and awarded with doctorates which is a rare gesture from the University and that should be accepted with humbleness and not to discard with arrogance. Mind it the Universities are not giving the honors not at the drop of the hat, but after going through their performance in their relevance field and being the inspiration to others from their work, they cast a spell and that motivates others. And only in that regard the Universities make such rare gestures.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #589204
    Yes ,Celebrities be conferred with honorary degrees and doctorates.
    Celebrities are recognized by their talents in the specific fields.
    They have to pay a lot being celebrities.If any institution wants to pay regards in front of their students to encourage them through life achievements and hurdles they cross to get these.These are also parts of education.
    That is the time the students personally ask question and make role model to the celebrity.Many students change their attitude after watching these programs.They feel turning point in their life after attending these functions.
    I think it is a part of education,one should respect the institution by receiving the honor and share their experiences at those ceremonies.

    Service to mankind is service to God.

  • #589219
    Excellent discussion initiated. I would support the honor to any deserving celebrity, be it from any field like theater, sports and politics. But it should not be in the form of Doctorate degree. For me, it is not justifiable for a PhD Scholar who is working hard for 4-5 years to complete his/her doctorate.
    I appreciate the decision of Rahul Dravid of not accepting the honorary degree which shows his respect towards it and I do not think that his decision should hurt the institute's respective authorities.
    There are already many awards we have to honor the outstanding performers in their respective fields and those awards are not shared by any academic outstanding performer then why this academic Doctorate degree is shared even in honorary means.


    Living & Learning- simultaneous processes!

  • #589225
    I say a big NO to this practice of awarding degrees and doctorates to the celebrities. University should mind only the students, not any other individuals or celebrities. They should not care the politicians, film stars and sports personalities or any other individual who excel in any field. Why should universities recognize these celebrities by awarding honorary degrees and doctorates? This is the duty of our government to recognise the people of our country, not the universities which is purely for education. Government has various awards like Bharat Ratna, Padmna Vibhushan, Padmasri etc. The celebrities should be honored with such great awards. All celebrities are not good celebrities. Politicians are corrupt from top to bottom. Sports personalities too are corrupt and money minded who involve in betting etc. Film stars are the most corrupt personalities in their private life. Let the university not become a market place to sell degrees and doctorates as they feel like. I am totally against this honorary awards from universities. Are the celebrities seeking universities to get an award for them? Let the universities concentrate on their students to award them certificates ,degrees and doctorates.
    No life without Sun

  • #589226
    First of all an university is a place that provides education in various fields plus acknowledges involvement of various new elements, laws, rules, algorithm introduced in various subjects. No matter you have been a formal scholar or not, your contribution in a certain field can carry the very subject through new circulating ideas that can be studied later as the evolving concept. And that's what an education is all about. New concept ideas evolve and added. When it comes to celebrities, and a cricketer for instance, he or she as a great cricketer not only contributes to the sports as a whole but also points out various specifics related to various fields too. Like for an example, he also contributes through his skill, a scientific knowledge of working of human anatomy which he discovered himself, his mental composure to to fight in various conditions which could be great subject or research for a psychology student, his persona and his charm could have an impact on the common masses and that very quality can also serve as the concept in studying subjects of social ethics. So he or she is not only contributing to her or his field but also to certain other aspects in total which could serve as a basis for education indirectly. So I support that universities can confer the honorary degree to celebrities

  • #589232
    It is all about universities recognising a persons contribution in various fields and appriciating. University can do this by other ways by honuring them with trophies, prizes, medals and scrolls but providing them with a doctrate degree is not a correct thing to do.
    Because doctrate degree is something for which another person is struggling so much and contributing his/her research these peoples doesn't get that much recognition while getting these degree, which a celebrity gets inspite of belonging from entirely different field.
    We should respect both these peoples for their contribution in their different fields but not by confering doctrates.

    "It is hardest thing in the world to be good thinker without being a good self examiner"

  • #589234
    In the second part of my response, I would like to analyse why universities and other institutions confer honorary degrees/ranks to celebrities including sportspersons. There are various reasons behind this phenomenon. I am mentioning some of them:-
    (a) Some lesser-known universities/institutions do this solely to gain publicity. Generally private universites which are not well-known, adopt this policy. Such universites chose an eminent person, take his/her consent and confer honorary Doctorate degree to the celebrity. These institutions simplytry to bask on the glory of the celebrities.
    (b) Some Universities/institutions genuinely want to honour a celebrity for their path-breaking work in the chosen field. So, these Universities confer honorary Doctorate degree to eminent film-stars, film directors, sportspersons and celebrities from other fields. In this case, the Universities genuinely want to acknowledge the contribution of a celebrity in his/her field of eminence.
    (c) In some cases, honorary rank is conferred to popularise an institution. The honorary Army rank of Lt.-Colonel was given to Kapil Dev solely for the purpose of popularising Territorial Army and to increase the recruitment in the Territorial Army.

    In the next part of my response, I would give my opinion of relevance of this practice of conferring honorary degrees or ranks.

    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #589236
    There is lot of nepotism and bias in india towards the celebs and the people who are at the upper stature. That's why they can get away with free degrees, crime and anything out there.

    I must say Dravid won the respect of whole nation. He has put a new focus in front of youth that if you have not earned it, then it's not yours. That's as good as bhiksha (donation). And educational degree should be far from bhiksha. Though many politicians and celebs don't mind getting such without having to prove anything.

    Normal people spend their entire lives learning and working hard to get those degrees. There is no reason celebs and politicians should be viewed above all of us.

    I support Dravid's decision of the degree denial. Nobody with iota of self respect would accept the free degree without hard work. People in India should start supporting his decision and all of us should stop giving free degree and fake honor to people just because they did something in their field. They get paid for the work they did. If they were never got paid for the work they did, we can understand but free degree stuff should be stopped.

  • #589244
    Keeping aside 'nepotism', when a celebrity / politician / cricketer who acquires in-depth knowledge in his / her field deserves a doctorate degree. The person might not have gone through regular course of study yet the person deserves an honorary degree.

    Should their dedication to the specific field go unrecognized? Shouldn't there be any encouragement for the practical knowledge they acquire? Of course, there are few who don't crave for an honorary degree but there are some deserved ones who get encouraged on receiving one from a university.

    Ms Neelam, research mean not just going through with piled up books in the library, writing unending notes / thesis and submitting but acquiring knowledge in any specific field be it cricket or film industry or business or any other field, is what is called practical knowledge. So it is not wise to say that 'they are unrelated to the honor'.

    It would be unfair, if the really deserved celebrities are not conferred with honorary degrees.

    Thanks & Regards

  • #589245
    No I don't agree honorary degree or a doctorate for celebrity, or anybody else is a good way. What Rahul dravid did was a good one. Its always better to honor a doctorate by getting through academics. As off we know many are having honorary doctorate , they might have it many means. But it doesn't have any value for them it's just a pride that's all. The original value for doctorate is when your honored by doing research on a particular topic and completing your ph.d and vice versa. according to me honorary degree must not be honored.

  • #589247
    Acquiring practical knowledge is also a research work. Research is not confined to theoretical / bookish knowledge which is acquired in a formal way. Acquiring in-depth knowledge in any field is also a research work which is acquired in practical way.

    Knowledge is not only acquired through formal education but one can acquire it through in-formal way as well. When a person acquires much knowledge in an in-formal way, should he / she be denied from getting the honorary award?

    Thanks & Regards

  • #589251
    Whether you award or don't award a honorary degree or doctorate, a celebrity remain as a celebrity until their last breath. They remain in the people's heart forever until their last day on this good earth. Awarding a degree or doctorate is an useless and wasteful effort to recognize them with university awards.

    Just think about the celebrities who haven't received such awards. They are still great and remain in our heart forever.

    However a common man who strived hard to study and get the award are not recognized by the public, but only by people known to them closely.

    So, What is the use of an honorary award to a celebrity?

    No life without Sun

  • #589254
    "Should celebrities be conferred with honorary degrees & doctorates" is the question line for this Group Discussion.
    Which side I stand for in this?I cannot object with a candid no. it comes with a rider or condition.

    Hence if I am to answer in one word, my answer is a big NO, IF , the criteria is only 'Celebrity'.

    That is because, I do not oppose universities giving "Honorary Doctorates". I actually welcome if universities honour people with practical experience and original contributions in any field with a Doctorate. But if the criteria for awarding is just celebrity status, then I do not support it.
    So my arguments may be a mixed bag, as I cannot take a total stand supporting either the protagonists or antagonists.

    Let us have a fruitful discussion ahead. We may all learn a bit more in that process.

  • #589266
    It is really a good move by Rahul Dravid. His statement itself reflects the importance of honorary degree and the respect he has on the doctorate degree. The word "degree" is closely associated with academics and so is the honorary degree and doctorates. It is not mandatory for a university to offer honorary degree. Some universities which do not offer honorary degree are also operating in India.

    All the Universities have research departments and many scholars are doing research under various fields to get a Ph.D. degree. Such research scholars know the real worth of the doctorate degree. Getting a doctorate in a specific field is not an easy task. Many research scholars work part-time and full-time for years and years to get a doctorate degree. So the Universities should know the real worth of the doctorate degrees and should avoid offering honorary doctorate degrees to celebrities and personalities associated with different fields.

    Awards can be given to celebrities but offering them an honorary degree is not correct. It is really awkward to see a doctorate degree in front of the name of some person who not even holds a proper degree in education. What is the necessity for a university to offer honorary doctorate degrees to celebrities? All the celebrities and the famous personalities are associated with different fields and each field has separate association and committees. It is the responsibility of each and every field to honor the personalities from their own respective fields. As mentioned by Sun in his response #589225, the Government is offering various awards like Bharath Ratna, Padmashri, Padma Vibushan, etc. to honor the celebrities from various fields. Other than the honors given by the Government, some Private organizations are also organizing some Award functions every year and offering awards, prizes, medals, titles, etc. to the celebrities associated with different fields. So the universities should avoid offering honorary doctorate degree to the person who is not even associated to the field of education.

    I did not find anything abusive in Rahul Dravid's gesture of discarding the honorary doctorate degree. In future, other universities including Bangalore University should consider Rahul Dravid's response as an eye opener and should avoid offering honorary doctorate degrees to the celebrities and famous personalities involved in the non-academics field.

  • #589268
    It's not the question of remaining in the hearts of the people for ever or it is not the question of being 'celebrity' is the criteria for conferring an honorary doctorate but it is the due recognition of the celebrity's contribution in the field and to the society.

    Celebrities remain the same whether they are conferred with the honorary degree or not? But when there is due recognition for their contributions, they feel honored which they feel worthier than getting name and fame.

    For instance Dr. Akkineni Nageswara Rao (popularly known as ANR) who was the matinee idol of Telugu film industry, was born in a poor farmer's family. Though he wanted to, he couldn't continue formal studying after his primary schooling due to poor economic background. He became a celebrity who was well known in South India. He made remarkable contributions to the Telugu Film Industry and to the society. Besides being a versatile actor, he started Annapoorna Studios in Hyderabad. He regretted through out his life for not having a formal college education. He donated liberally for the promotion of education to the needy, he even gave scholarships to the needy and deserved students of Andhra University, Madras University, Osmania University, Sri Venkateswara University, Bangalore University, Kerala University and Bombay University. Such were his services to the field and the society. He was conferred with an honorary doctorate degree for his remarkable contributions. He valued it much more than various National and International awards.

    When a celebrity does so much to the field and the society, he / she deserves to get an honorary degree. In this context we cannot / should not compare a celebrity with a common man who strives hard to get a degree. The common man's goal is to work hard only to get a degree certificate, earn a livelihood and look after his family. His contributions to a specific field / society is not remarkable but limited. But that is not the case with a celebrity who makes remarkable contributions to his / her field and for the welfare of the society.

    When they make remarkable contributions to the society, what's wrong in conferring an honorary doctorate degree on them who really deserve one?

    Thanks & Regards

  • #589279
    I Say a strict No. I furnish my points below here

    1)First of all, we need to think in perspective of an ordinary man how difficult to earn a Dr in front of his name but here in case of Celebrities, it's a cake walk.I will show thousands of examples whose acting or playing skills are not up to the mark as they got honorary doctorates.

    2)More than 90 percent of Honorary doctorates are fake in the sense they(celebrities) purchased it from the different universities.

    3) To get into limelight of their university name they chose the popular celebrities to give these honorary degrees or doctorate

    4)We have to differentiate Education from other fields like sports, acting, dancing e.t.c.

    5)If Universities still want to Honor the celebrities If he is a good actor give him like given name' or title name 'kala prapoorna' similarly sports title name 'khel prapoorna' like this but not honorary doctorates Dr.xyx.

    6)I strongly feel if a person wants to be a doctorate he should do Ph.D.(research scholars) and there should be no alternative way in achieving this i.e. no to the honorary degree or doctorate.

    7)Continuation of the 3 point some of the celebrities knows University vice-chancellors in the form of friends, close relatives or even die-hard fans of that celebrity, in that case, the transparency of the honorary Degree or doctorate is questionable

    8)Celebrities do have immense political influence as they campaign for an election candidate or a political party if the political party comes into power then it is very easy to get honorary Doctorates or degrees similar to civilian awards.

    9)Religion, region, caste will also play a pivotal role in awarding honorary degrees and doctorates.

    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #589280
    I want to pose some questions to all the ISC members who are participating here.
    1) If somebody questions the authenticity of awarding honorary doctorates or degrees to a particular celebrity is there any proper mechanism in universities to tell the reasons why he was chosen for the honorary doctorate or degree?.
    2)Will they constitute a committee for scrutinizing the already awarded honorary doctorates or degrees?
    3)Can the University reversal the decision similar to regular doctorates if the awarded degree or doctorate is not as per rules and regulations?
    4) Are there any guidelines for the university in awarding the honorary degrees and doctorates?
    5)Can courts interfere in this matter when there is a violation of rules and regulations?

    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #589287
    I also do not support, awarding the honorary doctorate to film stars/ sportsperson as few of members like Neelam Joshi and Bhushan expresses their views.
    The greatest wealth in this world is mental peace and good health.

  • #589291
    Generally, a student studying in a university gets only the degree or the doctorate. Nothing else. Whereas a celebrity gets many awards from the Central Government (Bharat Ratna, Khel Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Shri etc) and also from their respective State Governments. In fact, a celebrity gets too many awards heaped up in front of their name. In addition, they are honoured by private organisations. Even they get the same award repeatedly every year.

    A student gets into a university to earn a degree or doctorate after very hard work and struggle , whereas a celebrity is invited to be presented with degree and doctorate with no efforts of the recipient.

    There should be separate universities for different activities. There should be a sports university, a university for actors, a university for the politicians. . Such celebrities should join that university if they wish to earn their degree or doctorate from that university.

    Just look at a person who has received so many awards - Padma Shri, Chevalier, Kalaimamani, Nadigar Thilagam, Doctor Sivaji Ganesan. (Only an example)

    Why can't we have some special respect for the award of doctorate only to a person studying in a university?

    Moreover, In India, when we hear the word doctor, we all think about a person earned a doctorate in medicines only. Doubt may arise whether Mr. Sivaji Ganesan has studied MBBS to have the title Doctor before his name.

    So, Let the degrees and doctorate be reserved for the right student only. Let us not distribute it freely to the celebrities who don't deserve it. Rahul Dravid is right with his thoughts about the award.

    No life without Sun

  • #589293
    Thank you for concurring my views Sharma sir.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #589297
    The celebrities receiving honorary doctorate degree, do they really respect for what they are honoring with? I have not seen any of them using Dr. with their names. I have not heard any where- Dr. Shabana Azmi, Dr. Shahrukh Khan, Dr. Akshay Kumar...

    On other side, when a research candidate earn the same with full efforts and dedication, he or she say it loud with great proud which signs the importance of that degree in his/ her life.


    Living & Learning- simultaneous processes!

  • #589299
    You are right. No celebrity feel proud of their doctorate award from a university. They treat it as an ordinary award conferred voluntarily by some university. They simply ignore it. They don't prefix it before their name. Only in flex boards, or in ads, due to some of their follower's desire, the word Dr is prefixed.

    It is the university that wants to get popularity by awarding such awards to popular figures.

    No life without Sun

  • #589301
    Universities are autonomous bodies and they frame their own rules / policies. Each universities establishes its own criteria for selecting a celebrity to confer honorary doctorate / degree. These universities have their own criteria for the selection through a panel.

    Every award / honor is valued for a true celebrity and it adds up to his / her credit. Just because a celebrity has earned too many awards from various organizations / govt, he / she should not be denied from getting one more. The award is given in recognition of his / her achievement in the specific field (keep aside the politics / recommendations part aside which is deep rooted in the Indian society and no one can ever get rid of this). There are controversies in every aspect, so also there are controversies in awarding honorary doctorates / degrees to celebrity.

    The really deserved ones should not be denied from getting honorary doctorates because of the controversies. People need to be unbiased.

    Update: Note that as per university regulations, it is the personal preference for the recipients of honorary doctorates whether or not to use the prefix 'Dr.' to their name.

    Thanks & Regards

  • #589305
    Before going to my response, I would like to answer the issue raised by Ms. Padmini (#589297). The persons who receive honorary Doctorate degree, can't use Dr. before their names. so, we will never see Dr. Amitabh Bacchan or Dr. Sachin Tendulkar. Theodore Hesburgh has received maximum number of honorary Doctorate degree (more than 150 in number), but he never used Dr. before his name.

    Now going to the main issue under contention, I would like to refer to my previous response (#589234). The lesser-known universities or institutes confer honorary Doctorates or other degrees to eminent persons for the purpose of gaining publicity. These universities will continue this practice because this is one way of advertisement for them. And this is very cost-effective also. On the other hand, the well-known Universities confer various honorary degrees to eminent persons for their path-breaking work in their own fields. For example, Satyajit Roy was a Graduate, but he received not only honorary Doctorates, but also D. Litt. degrees from various Universities. These Universities confer degrees for the purpose of recognising achievements, not for pubicity. Honorary ranks are conferred by various institutions to make common people aware of the institutions. I personally know that when honorary Lt.-Col. rank was conferred on Kapil Dev by the Territorial Army TA), many people became interested about the TA and at least some people joined TA. So conferring honorary degree or ranks have some purposes from the institutional point of view.

    In the next part of my response, I would deal with the persons who receive such honorary Degrees.

    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #589306
    Bhushan - with reference to your response #589293 - please do not put such responses. This is an active GD which means posting your views on the topic and supporting/dissenting another member's views. You don't need to thank anyone for supporting what you say!
    When people come at you with their worst, you should come at them with your best (advice given to Selena Gomez by her mother, quoted in Time magazine.)

  • #589307
    Celebrities feel proud of the awards presented to them from their own field where they have achieved something. Filmstars are proud of being honoured by Filmfare awards. Dancers and actors feel very proud if they are awarded the most prestigious civilian award like Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri etc. It is the university which goes behind an actor to award voluntarily. This is not a good practice to be followed by the great universities. Celebrities keep accumulating awards to their credit. But why a doctorate which is different from others. There are celebrities who may not be able to spell the word 'Doctorate' properly.

    University should keep away the Celebrity

    No life without Sun

  • #589316
    All Universities are not autonomous they are under UGC University Grants Commission those who believe that each university has their own rules and regulations and policies is itself an absurd.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #589317
    Previously the movie actors when titles are screening in movies they use Dr.Mohan babu and Dr. Akineni Nageswara Rao like that but later on, I guess some petitioner appeals in the court using titles in movies prefixed with their names, Padmasri XYZ the court directed them not to use, as court treated it as a misusage of honorary awards and degrees and it's a violation one of Articles in the constitution.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #589318
    So much heated discussion is going on a good subject - "Should celebrities be conferred with honorary degrees & doctorates". In my opinion, it is YES, as the universities with their inherited and vested powers confer the degrees / doctorates. Since the celebrities are not born off as celebrities or even the kith and kin of the celebrities are not straight away are not being awarded with such degrees. The celebrities are the persons who have excelled and proved themselves in their own field of interest and which has been accepted by the public / society in which they are associated. With their interest, we can say, have mastered in their field and they are eligible to obtain such degrees.

    As far as students are concerned, to get such degrees, 4-5 years they have to be masters in their choice of field through various researches which should be finally to be accepted by a university. Whereas the celebrities since we identify them as celebrities, they have become masters and the same has been accepted by the society. Hence on this analogy, I do vote to confer degrees / doctorates to celebrities.

    Regarding the issue of the great player "Rahul Dravid", one should respect his feelings. Everyone has his own mindset and one cannot judge his feelings. So many instances are there of rejecting the great awards "Padma" also in our country. Its not the question of insulting the organisation. It is the gesture of the organisation whosoever is awarding but it is the privilege of the recipient to accept is or not.

  • #589320
    I want to stress one more time here Religion, region, caste will also play a pivotal role in awarding honorary degrees and doctorates because there are universities in our country are religion based and region, for example, Hindu university, Rayalaseema, Andhra university e.t.c.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #589321
    The GD is not to discuss on whether the universities are autonomous bodies or not. There is much of info on internet and one can easily do web search and find out whether the universities in India are autonomous bodies or not and whether these have their own Ordinance and Governing Councils or not? It is not a belief but a fact mentioned here.

    UGC is the apex body which safeguards the academic freedom autonomy of the institutions. There are other roles and functions of UGC which is irrelevant to discuss in this GD. No deviations pls.

    Thanks & Regards

  • #589322
    I do not favour awarding a doctorate to a cricket player. Cricket is a game limited to a small circle. There is nothing big in it. A player with some basic knowledge about cricket bat, ball, umpire, stump, catch, runout, bowling can play the game. A fellow should be lucky enough to get into the Indian team. There are thousands of excellent cricket players who don't get recognized. Due to their low profile and inability to approach the cricket board, they suffer without any recognition.After the entry, with experience, the player improves his game and get recognized. Why only a cricket player, why not a football player or volleyball or basketball or kabaddi player. Why this doctorate only to a cricket player.

    The celebrities earn a lot and they are happy with money than the awards and rewards. A doctorate or no doctorate doesn't matter them.

    No life without Sun

  • #589325
    In the last part of my response, I am going to deal with the celebrities who are offered the honorary degrees. Every university/institute first seek the consent of the celebrity to whom it is planning to confer the honorary degree or rank. It is upto the celebrity to ponder over the issue and decided whether he/she is ready to accept the honorary degree or rank. I know when the celebrities decide to accept such honorary degree, they have to give an acceptance speech. The speech explains their feelings on getting such honorary degree. The acceptance speeches of Rabindranath Tagore (University of Calcutta) and Satyajit Roy (in various Universities) are important documents on their thinking about literature and film-making, respectively.
    However, we can't expect similar erudition, knowledge or expression from most of the celebrities. So, most of the acceptance speeches are really dull and do not provide any guidance/insight on the subject.
    However, in few cases, celebrities also decline to receive honorary degree or rank. Rahul Dravid's case is one among these rare cases, when the honorary degree is declined by a sportsperson. It is well within his right to decline. We have to give respect to his reasoning. If Rahul Dravid thinks that it would be better for him to get Doctorate degree following the procedure, my respect for him increases manifold. His polite decline to receive honorary Doctorate from Bangalore University should not be construed as insult to the institution, rather it speaks of his attitude which must be admired. He doesn't chose any short-cut to achieve success in life. His act has made him more admirable to the young people of the society.
    Every celebrity including the sportsperson must ask his/her conscience before accepting such honorary degree/rank and if he/she thinks that acceptance of the same would help the larger society, only then he/she should accept the same. The thoughts must be reflected in his/her acceptance speech. And, acceptance or declining such honorary degree/rank is an individual decision for the celebrities.
    Concluding my response, I convey my best wishes to the other participants and thank our ME for initiating discussion on this current issue.

    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #589326
    Some celebrities feel that if they prefix the Doctorate degree they will get more value and it will bring more honor and respect in the society then there is a chance of misusing the system.Most of the celebrities in India are of this kind.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #589327
    Sorry, I didn't know how my response got posted twice. A tech glitch, could be at my end. I removed the content of this duplicate post.
    Thanks & Regards

  • #589330
    The above thread is duplicated before wrapping up this GD from my end I discussed this subject matter with my late father who is a retired. Professor in Chemistry from XYZ University and I share my views and his views in this Group discussion.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #589341
    After reading the response #589305 by Mr. Partha, I checked the Google and found that it is completely the awardees choice to use the prefix or not. There is no strict rule for that but yes, if they are using the same, it should be mentioned like "Dr.h.c." or "Dr. (h.c.)" to indicate that it's an honorary Degree.
    Still if the awardees is not allowed to use the prefix then what is the meaning of that Doctorate degree.
    To have good knowledge about any field and to conduct a research related to that field is completely different thing. Although both needs efforts but that does not mean that they are similar.
    If we can offer honorary degrees to celebrities of other field then we should also support the view of awarding "Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award", "Dronacharya Award", etc. to the research scholars when they perform good.


    Living & Learning- simultaneous processes!

  • #589346
    It is true that a Honorary awardee cannot simply write as Dr. ABC. It should be written as Honorary Doctor .ABC. The celebrity may not like the way it is to be written. Hence they hesitate to add it to their name. We misquote and write a celebrities name as Dr. XY which is wrong. Since the celebrities don't like their name to be written as Honorary Doctor so and so, why should universities award such degrees to the celebrities? Is it not ridiculous and too much?
    No life without Sun

  • #589348
    As I come back one more time to clarify Padmini response #589341 National or Civilian Awards should not be used for the publicity and it's a violation of constitutional law I think same will be considered and applicable for Honorary Doctorates!
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #589350
    The GD is going off-track. Members are supposed to discuss on the given topic and give their views on whether 'celebrities should be given honorary doctorates / degrees or not' and not to provide series of information on the topic in the responses (as is done by one of the members).

    Whether honorary doctorate awardees can prefix 'Dr. or 'Dr (h.c) or just 'Hon' prefixed to their degree, is as per the rules of the university that awards the degree and it's nothing like 'they cannot simply write Dr.X'.

    Each university has its own set of rules. In case of most of the universities, it is not compulsory for the awardees to prefix the title but it is a personal choice.

    Thanks & Regards

  • #589353
    As rightly pointed out by #589350, Kalyani ji, the subject matter is being sidelined. To the point to discuss, even Rahul Dravid matter is also not a direct point, I think. His name was taken as an illustration I suppose and let us have a further deep discussion on point directly "Should celebrities be conferred with honorary degrees & doctorates" as the close time is very nearer.

  • #589361
    To continue my discussion I think we have to analyse from the basics. So we should analyse ,

    Why at all should there be honorary doctorates or degrees?

    The reason is that not everyone is able to have the prescribed prior level of formal education and degrees needed to award a doctorate. But they have excellent knowledge and original creativity and original contribution in a subject or field. These intellects, researchers, artists , social workers, politicians , academicians etc give some results and contribution better than the dissertation and thesis given by those who work under a guided parameters and awarded academic doctorates.

    The very first example is that of Sinivasan Ramanujam, he Indian mathematical giant. He had contributed to mathematics than hundreds of academic doctorates awardees in mathematics.

    The genuine honorary doctorates were intended to acknowledge, accept and honour such real geniuses who though lacked formal education to get an academic doctorate, had more than sufficient worth to deserve doctorates degree.

    It is a dishonour to the doctoral degrees if such great persons and their contributions are not honoured y a doctorate.

    So facility and system of awarding honorary doctorate is essential and has to stay.

  • #589367
    The next example I take is that of Anna Hazare. Most of us very well know about his contributions in spite of absence of university degrees. Anna was deservedly awarded honorary doctorate by Honorary doctorate by Gandhigram Rural University in 2005.
    Later, Vijayanagara Sri Krishnadevaraya University also honoured with honorary doctorate .
    What he has done for that? Let us take one of the news reports of that day;
    Quote: Speaking on the occasion, Hazare said that national progress hinges on rural development. "Rural development could be achieved by laying emphasis on dairy, agriculture and animal husbandry. It doesn't need exploitation of natural resources or use of fuel such as petrol, diesel, coal and power," the Gandhian said.Giving an example of his native village, Hazare said few years ago, his village had about 40 arrack shops and residents were deprived of square meals a day. Not even a single crop was grown on 400 acres of land in the village. Now, we are growing two crops and selling 5,500 litres of milk. The economy of the village has undergone a sea change and such a change should happen in every village," – UNQUOTE(source;Deccan Herald)

    Upliftment of his village Ralegan Siddhi is just history we now. Such honorary Doctorates are worth and deserve respect and honour from everyone.

  • #589368
    1)The discussion is here Should celebrities be conferred with honorary degrees & doctorates. How come Anna Hazare and Ramanujam considered to be celebrities.

    2)The rural development could be achieved by laying emphasis on dairy, agriculture and animal husbandry.It is a well-known fact to every individual in this country there is no discovery here or it's not a miraculous thing and there are many people who proved this before Anna Hazare.

    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #589372
    I have in two previous posts briefly justified the need and logic of facility and system of awarding honorary doctorates.
    Now let us bring our attention into what is happening actually in practical and pragmatic terms.

    Nowadays in many occasions it is the university that get honoured when awarding honorary doctorates to certain eminent personalities.
    Take the case of our former President APJ Abdul Kalam. He had already made a mark in his relevant field of study and career with extra ordinary contributions. When a university confers honorary Doctorate on him, it does not affect him in anyway, but actually the university only gets honoured .

    Same was the case of Anna Hazare. Many years before Anna was given honorary doctorate by universties, he was already honoured with top civilian awards of Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. So in awarding Doctorate to Anna Hazare who was really honoured? Of course the university only.

    Such eminent personalities and contributors thus get multiple honorary doctorates when universities vie each other to confer awards on them, indirectly taking the honours themselves. We can have many such examples like Dr.Sarveppally Radahakrishna, our former President in this regard.

    So, when in some cases honorary doctorate respect, acknowledge and accept and publicise the real achievements and contributions of people who did not have formal academic degrees, on other side it is a way of getting honour and respect to the universities when they honour those who have already achieved honours.

  • #589373
    Honorary doctorates are also used by universities to source funds and publicity. It is for this purpose that hon.doctorate awards are used more in present days than to honour genuine deserving people.
    That is why nowadays the announcement of awarding doctorate to certain people evoke controversies.
    There was such a controversy and discussion when Lalu Prasad Yadav was being selected by a university for Honoraray Doctorate. He was then under the allegations and court cases related to scams.
    It all started when honoraray doctorates started being awarded to any and evryone who becomes a bit popular among people Due to this unwelcome practice people from field of politics, films and cricket got honorary doctorates.
    It gave a doubt to the general public that honorary doctorates were available for sale for a price. When we see that many of the personalities in the above field get doctorates(even multple doctorates) mostly from universities overseas, this doubts get reinforced.

    I am still not able to understand in what way Shilpa Shetty deserves a doctorate . For that even Preity Zinda.

  • #589374
    In my opinion it is just "NO" for doctrate degrees to celebrites especially those who have no connection with academics at all.
    As there are many peoples in history who have given brilliant research work and unique idea for the society with lot of hardwork and than they managed to get those degree and doctrate and various academic titles.
    For eg- Renowned theoritcical physicst Sthephen Hawkings whose life has been really inspirational for all those who want to achieve sucess in their life.
    The hardships which he faced and inspite of that he got his PHD after he got to know about his illness.
    I think there are so many ways for celebreties to gain fame and to get honured but those who have done exemplary work in academics these oppurtunities are little lesser.
    And among such opportunities one is doctrate degree so such things should be confined to obly those who have really worked in that particular field.
    And if universities really want to honur a celebrity or prmote themseleves with such step they should honur these celebrities through prizes, medals and certificates but not with doctrates.

    "It is hardest thing in the world to be good thinker without being a good self examiner"

  • #589375
    When universities and institutions confer honorary degree to celebrities, most often it is purely on selfish interests of profit, patronage and publicity.

    The fan clubs of film actors and actresses are numerous and they are a force to reckon with now. On honouring a celebrity, the institution ensures the patronage of the celebrity and gets huge donations and also reflected glory and publicity at no cost through the media and fans which the celebrity commands. The photo albums of such functions remain in the gallery and front pages of the web sites of those universities to ensure continued patronage and funds.

    If the rumours of 'Doctorate sale for a price' is true, then that is another source of funds to the institutions.

    When undeserving persons get(or can buy) doctorates easily because of their current popularity and celebrity status, many thousands who toiled day and night and came with thesis and theory or contributions and inventions or gave exemplary services become dishonoured and the doctoral degrees lose their value. In that process those who genuinely got the same through worthy and deserving worked become sad.

    The doctorate given to celebrities (mostly) are undeserving and they are like the glitters of imitationmetals when real gold does not glitter.

    Due to thatreason, have to sigh that 'All that glitters is not gold' in the case of honorary doctorates.

  • #589376
    On the contrary we should not deny due honour to celebrities just because they are celebrities. Many of them deserve that honour. For example the play back singers K.J.Jesudas, Lata Mangeshkar etc all deserve doctorate, because they have their own contributions and have become inspirations, motivators and even cut a style and path of their own which itself gets subjected to many Ph D thesis topics.

    I consider Sathosh Pandit , a maverick in Malayalam moviedom , worthy of a doctorate because he had shown a distinct path of how a movie can be made in a very low budget of just five lakhs and making it commercially success. I am sure his work and contribution is going to be a matter of critical study and some others may get an academic doctorate in that.
    There is K.Karunanidhi, who placed his firm footprint in film scripts and politics who was awarded honorary doctorate. But what made it look ridiculous was the way he was addressed Doctor Kailainjar by his ardent followers line to line in their speeches and writings.
    But all celebrity doctorate are not that worthy and deserving and would have deserve the value of the paper scroll on which it is printed.

  • #589377
    In my opinion it is just "NO" for doctrate degrees to celebrites especially those who have no connection with academics at all.
    As there are many peoples in history who have given brilliant research work and unique idea for the society with lot of hardwork and than they managed to get those degree and doctrate and various academic titles.
    For eg- Renowned theoritcical physicst Sthephen Hawkings whose life has been really inspirational for all those who want to achieve sucess in their life.
    The hardships which he faced and inspite of that he got his PHD after he got to know about his illness.
    I think there are so many ways for celebreties to gain fame and to get honured but those who have done exemplary work in academics these oppurtunities are little lesser.
    And among such opportunities one is doctrate degree so such things should be confined to obly those who have really worked in that particular field.
    And if universities really want to honur a celebrity or prmote themseleves with such step they should honur these celebrities through prizes, medals and certificates but not with doctrates.

    "It is hardest thing in the world to be good thinker without being a good self examiner"

  • #589378
    mohan sir acting is also a profession.
    recently shahrukh khan also achieved doctrate degree for ours they are actors and celebrities but for them acting is profession.
    shah rukh khan is supporter to the colleges.
    His charitable work includes bringing solar power to rural villages in India, creating a children's ward at a Mumbai hospital and supporting relief funds to assist areas devastated by tsunamis.

  • #589401
    As our members discussed, such doctorates / degrees may be awarded by the universities well before other appreciations / awards obtained by the celebrities. As our Venkiteswaran ji mentioned, When the society has already recognised with some award, there is no need to confer such degrees separately. In turn the universities are getting honor by announcing such degrees not the person being awarded.

  • #589407
    Venkiteswaran, there is confusion about your views as in your very first response you said a big NO while your subsequent responses are in favor of awarding honorary doctorates.

    As mentioned in my earlier responses, 'nepotism' is deep-rooted in our society. However, the really worthy / deserved celebrities should not be affected because of such discrepancies in awarding honorary doctorates by various universities.

    Why should the worthy ones remain unrecognized without encouragement? Despite of such discrepancies, let the deserved celebrities have due recognition for their contribution to the field / society. In my opinion celebrities who dedicate themselves to the field / society deserve an honorary doctorate.

    There is another question posed by Vandana in the thread. I think it is overlooked. Here it goes "Suppose the person is a teacher or an administrative academician but has not got the degree or doctorate through the normal avenue of studying for it / doing research. Is it Ok to confer them with it as an honorary qualification?

    To become a teacher or an administrative academician, a person should have a minimum qualification of degree. A majority of these are confined to their normal course of work / routine work. Their contribution to the field or to the society is almost negligible. Of course there are exceptions.

    When they are involved in their routine work without any extra efforts for gaining knowledge or without any contribution to the field / society, then it's not ok to confer them with honorary awards.

    Thanks & Regards

  • #589409
    Conferring honorary degrees to celebrities has a historical background. In ancient times the king used to honor the scholars and celebrities with gold, jewellery and other valuable items and applauded them in his court openly.
    With time kingdoms were replaced by nations and various governments ruled them. Educational and technical institutions mushroomed and people were awarded degrees based on their clearing exams.
    Now there are people who have not gone to college but have succeeded in their life so much that the whole world is respecting and talking about them. They are the celebrities.
    Every university and every institution wanted to award these celebrities in such a way that it serves as an advertisement for their institution.
    Now this has become a practice in the society to confer these degrees to celebrities whether it is justified or not. When a person is struggling to get a degree by his hard work and these celebrities are just like that getting it is really a matter of concern.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #589410
    I may be concluding my side justifications and viewpoints in another two or three posts.
    Here it is needed to repeat the core points I made till now, especially as participant Kalyani has some confusion on my stand. Participant Bhushan also raised a doubt during discussion.

    What I said till now is:

    (1)I do not oppose honorary doctorates awarded to celebrities per se.But I oppose if the only criterion applied is 'celebrity status'
    (I quote from my post #589254: Which side I stand for in this?I cannot object with a candid no. it comes with a rider or condition.Hence if I am to answer in one word, my answer is a big NO, IF , the criteria is only 'Celebrity')

    (2) I justified the awarding of honorary doctorates as we should not forget or avoid the achievers and original contributors having lack of formal education or degrees required for academic doctorates. In this regard I gave example of Srinivasan Ramanujam and Anna Hazare

    (3) I mentioned that universities are exploiting the honorary doctorates for getting honour on themselves, and many such doctorates do not have any effect on the awardees.In this regard I gave examples of APJ Abdul Kalam, Anna Hazare etc, because they got far better honours years before the doctorates were awarded.

    (4) Then I said many universities appear to use the honorary doctorates to be a source of publicity and funds by awarding those who are wealthy and popular. I gave examples of those in politics, cricket and movies. I also said that people doubt these kind of awarding are actual trading for a prize and some awards became open controversies. For that also I cited example.
    The receiving of multiple doctorates by same 'celebrity', that also by some unknown overseas universities and institutions point to the doubts of such awards being bought for a prize.

    (5)Thus sequentially explaining my viewpoints without any particular bias, but to an easily understandable level , I ended my last post #589376: with statement "But all celebrity doctorate are not that worthy and deserving and would have deserved(only) the value of the paper scroll on which it is printed."

    I also hold that being a celebrity is not an ineligibility to be awarded. Many celebrities are worth such honorary doctorates, for their contributions in one or more field of their activity and involvement .They had made worthy contributions for their field which the subsequent generations are benefited also.

  • #589412
    Normally speaking such degrees,doctorates to the celebrities are not required and they are also not fit for that. They are given awards for their success and efficiency through the film magazines and other magazines such as film fare awards etc., it is ok for them. In spite of this, many celebrities are given such degrees and doctorates. Some actors are really degree holders and even some post graduate actor,actresses are there.We can tolerate this thing only by keeping in the mind that to accomplish the really interested actors to confer degree but not accomplish in their earlyhood. We can give a chance to satisfy themselves atleast.

  • #589414
    A great topic initiated by Vandana Madam.

    I must say most of the views I am getting here are not a realistic one. If a celebrity got a honorary degree that doesn't mean anything to a research fellow or on a research topics as per his or her degree. Even the celebrity knows it very well so none of them using the same. This kind of topics are similar to those where last year Salman Khan made the brand ambassador for the Indian Olympics or some other sports related matter. This is actually given in most cases where university feels giving them a degree will earn some name and some reputation to the University itself rather than the person whom its given. We are all fighting because we are contemporary to those whom its given now. We are human beings and we have a habit of writing off any living legend. I don't think anybody will raise any question if its given to any died or non contemporary personality. The problem creeps in when its given to a person whom some like and some don't like. The argument starts and the whole process itself looks murkier by the time.

    We need to know that there are very strict norms, rules and test for being selected to Indian Administrative services but no such strict rule for our legislators who are above them. When we are bearing that kind of rules then why cannot bear this that a celebrity getting an honorary degree due to his repute and respect in the society.

    There is very strict rule for being selected as a manager for a big company but there is no strict rules for the owner of the same company who are going to work above the manager's like them. So basically we need to understand and get out of this mind set that only education and educated can only rule and get degree which is not even a degree for practice.

    Do Aryabhatta or Newton posses any real academic degree for us to believe their real potential? I think our education system made us think in a manner that those who are educated are good at everything or having a elite class among the people.

    A honorary degree is nothing but given to the person who can influence and even having the potential of changing life of others. A doctorate degree can be earned or even purchased but I guess getting to a position where an University approaches for giving a honorary degree is very daunting task.

    So I support the honorary degree being given to the eminent personalities in various fields by the University and this should continue.

    Farid Akhtar
    ISC-Joined for fun but learn and earn.

  • #589419
    As my final comments to end the discussion from my end with a Joke and a similarity drawn As there are two types of parliamentarians in our parliamentary system one is Lok sabha MP and another one is Rajya sabha MP where Lok sabha MP's are directly elected by people whereas Rajya sabha MP's are indirectly elected Similar to here Honorary Doctorates are compared to Rajya sabha MP'S and Loksabha MP's are compared to regular doctorates.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #589424
    It looks really very funny that we are conferring such prestigious degrees to celebrities just like that. It seems we do not have other ways to honor them. There are different platforms for different people and we can always honor the dignitaries by asking them to be the chief guest in university convocations, to chair some important sessions, to inaugurate big fairs/ exhibition and what not but it is really very strange that they are unnecessary being asked to take up those degrees which they have not earned.
    I do not understand why these dignitaries at the first place should accept them.

    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #589426
    This GD was prompted by the reported refusal of Rahul Dravid for an offer of an honoraray Doctorate from Bangalore University.(Please see the opening lines of the announcement).
    I just want to remind that Rahul Dravid is not the first person to refuse such honorary awards.

    I quote the relevant news reports sourced from web.

    "Prime Minister Narendra Modi, declined to accept an honorary doctorate degree offered by the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and also apologised for having refused "politely" a proposal in this regard".... This is not the first time that Modi has declined a doctorate. In the run up to his US visit in 2014, a university in Louisiana had proposed to confer an honorary doctorate on him in recognition of his contribution towards social transformation, especially for empowering women and minorities in Gujarat which he declined.." (

    Metro Man E.Sridharan also refused honoraray doctorate offered by University of Calicut in
    2015(Ref: The Hindu dt 22 July 2015)
    In 2009, Amitabh Bachan, the bollywood Superstar turned down the honorary doctorate for his contribution to Indian cinema, from the Queensland University of Technology , in protest against the attack on Indian nationals in Australia. He said" "I mean no disrespect to the Institution that honours me, but under the present circumstances, where citizens of my own country are subjected to such acts of inhuman horror, my conscience does not permit me to accept this decoration from a country that perpetrates such indignity to my fellow countrymen,"
    However Bachan accepted the honour after two years when the there was "improvements in the safety of Indian students" in Australia.

    Sachin Tendulkar also refused a honorary doctorate citing professional reasons that he was still playing cricket.

    Increasing number of celebrities refusing or declining the honoraray doctorates also mean that they themselves feel the awards are not worth or they are not really eleigible to be conferred with such honour. The universities should have taken note of these, at least they should do now and avoid compromisisngthe standatrds of honour. That will be actually a dishonour to the persons.

    Honorary doctorates are doubted to have become a quid-pro-quio trade in at least much number of cases especially when they are awarded by newly established universities and given by overseas universities to non-natives.

  • #589428
    Now, I m to conclude my discussion in this GD.

    I trust that you al would have read my nine or more posts in this GD explaining and elaborating and justifying my stand. If you are a late entrant, you may read at least the last two [posts viz.#589410 &589426 wherein you may get the crux of my views and points.

    So traversing through all my above posts,
    I come to the conclusive answer to the GD title
    "Should celebrities be conferred with honorary degrees & doctorates"-

    'NO"- if the consideration is only the celebrity status and popularity.

    and ,

    YES-because being a celebrity should not be a bar for a deserving honour IF THEY ACTUALLY DESERVE OTHERWISE.

    I thank the Managing Editor for a relevant topic GD and thank all the participants for their sincere efforts in debating the matter.

  • #589447
    Dear Members,
    I appreciate Mr. Venkiteswaran who has come out with detailed justification whether the honorary degree or doctorate to be awarded or not awarded to the celebrities. He is right with his points. However, I conclude saying that an Honorary degree or doctorate to a celebrity is not necessary. A university is not for the public, but for the students who undertake studies in that university. Universities should not try to earn their name and become famous by awarding degrees to celebrities.

    'Let Universities maintain a distance from the Celebrities'.

    No life without Sun

  • #589478

    You should pay attention to closing dates which are announced & not put responses even if the thread is still open, since it will get locked only when a forum editor comes online.

    When people come at you with their worst, you should come at them with your best (advice given to Selena Gomez by her mother, quoted in Time magazine.)

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