Congress senate members of Maharaja Sayajirao University on Wednesday proposed to confer honorary doctorate degree on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and megastar Amitabh Bachchan, but the move was rejected by the varsity administration as an attempt at “cheap publicity”.
Senate member Amar Dhomse proposed conferring the degree on Modi, while Kamal Pandya, another representative in the key university body, proposed the name of Bachchan, who is the brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism.
Narendra Rawat, a senate member and general secretary of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee, proposed the name of Nita Ambani, who heads Reliance Foundation, for award of honorary doctorate degree by the university.
Dhome and Pandya belong to Congress, the main Opposition party in Gujarat and a bitter critic of Modi.
They wanted to put forward their proposal at the Thursday meeting of senate, a body which discusses university-related policies.
However, the university administration rejected the proposal, saying consent of the dignitaries concerned was not obtained.
Prof Parimal Vyas, the Vice-Chancellor, asserted that conferring honorary degree of doctorate on Modi is not an issue to be debated at the Thursday’s annual general meeting of the senate.
“Without obtaining consent from the dignitaries concerned, how can such a degree be conferred on them?” he asked.
“This seems to be an attempt to gain cheap publicity,” Vyas said. “We rejected their proposal, which they wanted to be part of the Senate’s agenda, on technical ground.”
“The university has decided to confer honorary degree of doctorate on A M Naik, chairman and MD of L&T Group, and Dilip Sanghvi, founder of Sun Pharmaceuticals. Both of them have given their consent for it,” he added.