Honorary degree still pending for Saudi Prince

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had praised the AMU's efforts to expand India's global outreach, particularly with the Islamic world

PTIUpdated: Monday, July 11, 2022, 07:36 PM IST
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Saudi Arabia's Prince Mohammed Bin Salman | wikimedia

According to officials on Sunday, Aligarh Muslim University has asked the Centre for permission to award Saudi Arabia's Prince Mohammed Bin Salman with an honorary D Litt degree. AMU Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor sent the application to the Union government for permission last year, according to AMU spokeswoman Shafey Kidwai, who spoke to the media. The Ministry of External Affairs has been holding onto the request ever since.

"The matter is still pending with the government and according to AMU sources, the university has been asked to share the names of previous foreign dignitaries including heads of states, who have been conferred this degree in the past," Kidwai said, adding the AMU had informed the government about the list shortly after they were asked to do so.

The AMU VC sought to honour the Saudi prince for his efforts toward "global betterment" in a letter to the Center. The Saudi Prince earned a bachelor's degree in law in 2007 from King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Mansoor had noted in his letter that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had praised the AMU's efforts to expand India's global outreach, particularly with the Islamic world, in a speech given in December 2020. The university has previously awarded such degrees to eight heads of state and six worldwide figures, including the former King of Saudi Arabia Ibn Saud Abdul Aziz in 1955, according to AMU officials.

Former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser received a degree of a similar nature from the AMU in 1961, as did former Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman in 1962, the Shah of Iran Mohammad Raza Pehalvi in 1956, and West German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard in 1958.

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