Allahabad University proposal for DLitt to Gulzar still ‘under consideration’

Initially, the convocation was scheduled for September 23, but it was postponed and held on Monday (November 8).

The Allahabad University’s proposal to confer an honourary doctorate on lyricist-writer Gulzar is “under consideration” at the Education Ministry, an official said Monday.

An official said that the proposal with Gulzar’s name was sent to the ministry around a month ago. “The proposal is under consideration. Processing such proposals takes time. In this case, the proposal reached around a month ago. There are over 40 Central universities, and similar honourary DLitt-related proposals have also come from other universities. Giving the impression that the proposal has been rejected would be incorrect. Following the ministry’s approval, it will be sent to the President,” the official said.

On August 18, the executive council of the Allahabad University — a Central varsity — had decided to award Gulzar, the nom de plume of Sampooran Singh Kalra, with the honourary doctorate during its convocation ceremony, two weeks after the varsity’s academic council had cleared his name.

Initially, the convocation was scheduled for September 23, but it was postponed and held on Monday (November 8).

Prashant Kumar Ghosh, dean of the Faculty of Commerce and head of the Department of Economics, who had recommended Gulzar’s for the honorary degree, told The Indian Express that his proposal had been accepted unanimously by all members of the academic council.

Ghosh also said that Gulzar had given his consent for receiving the degree in August.

The university’s public relations officer Jaya Kapur has now said that he will be awarded the DLitt at a separate event as soon as the ministry grants permission. “These processes take time as they are rigorous, considering the prestige associated with a honourary DLitt. The university chose Gulzar saheb’s name due to his merit and achievements as an artist. It is unfortunate that an impression is being given that the proposal has been nixed,” Kapur said.

Under the statute of the Allahabad University, the executive council may, on the recommendation of the academic council and by a resolution passed by majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting, make proposals to the visitor of the university — a post held by the President of India — for conferment of honourary degrees.

The proposals are then sent to the visitor through the Ministry of Education.

Incidentally, Gulzar had served as the chancellor of Assam University — another central varsity —between 2013 and 2018.

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