Noted Punjabi singer and actor Gurdas Maan and noted classical singer Surinder Singh were conferred with doctor of literature degrees (honoris causa) by Punjab governor Shivraj Patil during the 36th Convocation of Punjabi University held at Guru Teg Bahadur Hall of the varsity on Friday.
A total of 269 students were felicitated on the occasion, of which 158 were conferred with PhD degrees, 81 were honoured for their outstanding performance in the masters and professional courses, while 26 for performing well in undergraduate courses.
Kushpreet Kaur Kaleka, a student of MSc (biotechnology), was awarded the Chancellor's Medal.
Eminent Punjabi writer Surjit Singh Patar was the guest of honour on the occasion while director general of National Archives of India, Mushirul Hasan, delivered the keynote address.
Governor Shivraj Patil exhorted the students, faculty members of the university to embark on a goal-oriented research and teaching which would enable the Punjabi youth to take up the present times challenges.
Lauding the role of vice-chancellor and faculty of the only university in the world to be named after a language after the Hebrew University of Israel, Patil said that Punjabi University was unique where students study language, religions, science and technology, and other subjects.
"Languages unite human beings across the world. We should respect other languages," he said.
Congratulating Surinder Singh and Gurdas Maan, who received the doctor of literature degrees, Shivraj Patil said that the contribution of two in the field of music was unmatched.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa.