PM declined Jamia’s PhD honour | delhi | Hindustan Times
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PM declined Jamia’s PhD honour

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh turned down an invitation to receive an honorary doctorate from Jamia Millia Islamia along with the Dalai Lama before the external affairs ministry (MEA) scuttled the Tibetan leader’s award.

delhi Updated: Oct 23, 2010 00:01 IST
Charu Sudan Kasturi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh turned down an invitation to receive an honorary doctorate from Jamia Millia Islamia along with the Dalai Lama before the external affairs ministry (MEA) scuttled the Tibetan leader’s award.

The PMO sent a regret letter to the invite, which, had it been accepted, could have placed Singh and the Dalai Lama on a common stage, sources confirmed to HT. The letter did not cite the proposed presence of the Dalai Lama as the reason for the PM’s decision.

The PM has in the past received honorary doctorates from both Indian and foreign higher educational institutions.

Jamia was informed earlier this week of the MEA’s advice against awarding an honorary doctorate to the Dalai Lama at its convocation in November, as HT reported first on Thursday.

Government sources are questioning Jamia’s decision to award the two together, given diplomatic sensitivities with China. Accepting the invitation would have placed the PM in a catch-22 situation, they said, with Singh facing China’s objections but at the same time unable to ignore the Dalai Lama.