As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh prepares to step down on Saturday after a decade in office, the master of St. John’s College at the University of Cambridge — where he graduated in 1957 with a First in Economics — said it was "extremely proud" of him.
Even as his detractors continued to hit at Singh in India, Professor Christopher Dobson told HT on Wednesday: "St. John’s College is extremely proud to number Dr Singh among its honorary fellows and alumni".
Two scholarships at St. John’s College — named Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarships — were set up during his prime ministership.
Since 2007, high-achieving Indian students have been coming to the college for PhD and MPhil degrees in Science, Technology and the Social Sciences.
Dobson added: "His support for the two scholarship programmes has been pivotal in enabling Indian students from a wide range of backgrounds to come to Cambridge and enjoy world-class education."
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Singh, who received the honorary degree of Doctor of Law in 2006 at the university, said "Cambridge made me", when the scholarships were instituted. The scholarships worth 35,000 pounds each are supported by Tata Sons, Rolls-Royce India and BP Foundation.
The University of Oxford, where Singh achieved a doctorate in the early 1960s, however, said it would not comment on the occasion of his leaving the prime ministerial office. In 2005, Oxford also conferred an honorary degree upon Singh.