PM Conferred Honorary Doctorate by Punjab Agri Varsity

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was today conferred with an honorary doctorate by the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) with the citation describing him as the "architect of economic reforms in the country."

Besides the Prime Minister, honorary degrees were awarded to three others —- Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, former Director General of ICAR, RS Paroda, and renowned soil scientist Jaswant Singh Kanwar -- at a special convocation organised as part of the university's Golden Jubilee celebrations.

"Dr Manmohan Singh's leadership as the Prime Minister of our country has won him wide acclaim. He is respected the world over for his scholarship and his deep knowledge of the global economy," the citation of the Doctor of Science (honoris causa) conferred on him stated.

It noted that Singh had completed his BA Economics (Hons) in 1952 and MA (Economics) in 1954 from the Panjab University, with a first position in the university in each examination. He secured the top position while completing Economics Tripos at the University of Cambridge in 1957 and was awarded the Adam Smith Prize for 1956.

"Dr Manmohan Singh was elected to a Studentship at Nuffield College, Oxford and was awarded D.Phil degree by the University of Oxford in 1962," it also stated.

The citation said, "Dr Manmohan Singh who lives a simple life entered politics as Member of Rajya Sabha in 1991. As Finance Minister (1991-96) he set the country firmly on the path of economic reform and liberalisation. His stint as Finance Minister is recognised as one of the most significant periods of transformation of the Indian economy in the history of independent India."

The citation with respect to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal described him as an "iconic statesman who has risen to the rare status of a legend in his lifetime."

"Sardar Parkash Singh Badal truly symbolises the modern-day Punjab, and his name has been co-terminus with the fortunes of the state and its people over more than half a century. During this period, both in and out of government, he has navigated the state and its people through difficult times to take them to the present era of peace and complete communal harmony," it said.

Rajendra Singh Paroda was described as "one of the leading agricultural scientists of India."

As Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Government of India, he revamped the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) through several policy initiatives and organisational reforms.

As Director of the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, he established one of the most updated gene banks in the world, the citation said.

The fourth recipient Jaswant Singh Kanwar was recognised for being "a renowned soil scientist with major contributions in dry land agriculture and water management."

Kanwar, a graduate of Punjab Agricultural College and Research Institute, Lyallpur (1944) started his career as a lecturer and he has the distinction of being the first Director of Research (1962-66) of PAU, the citation conferred to him said.

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