In a rare honour, Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar has been made an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall at his alma mater Cambridge University in recognition of his contribution to the "diplomatic and political life of the world's largest democracy."
69-year-old Aiyar joined the ranks of figures such as renowned scientist Stephen Hawking.
"I am more than honoured and privileged. I've a special feeling for Trinity Hall and Cambridge. They played a decisive role in my life," Aiyar said after receiving the honour.
The citation, read out by Professor Daunton, said: "Mani Shankar Aiyar, you have been elected an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall in recognition of your contribution to the diplomatic and political life of the world's greatest democracy, and of your deep understanding of the issues facing India as it experiences economic and social transformation."
Aiyar, who spent two years (1961-63) at Cambridge as an undergraduate, described it as a "coming back home party" for him.
He is the first South Asian in more than 50 years to receive the honour. The last was Nawab of Dhaka Hajji Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin, who became Pakistan's second governor-general and was briefly the Prime Minister after the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan in 1951.
Also honoured on the occasion was Sir David Bell, chairman of the Pearson Group and The Financial Times.