British Premier Gordon Brown conferred honorary degree by DU

British Premier Gordon Brown conferred honorary degree by DU
New Delhi, Jan 21 (PTI) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was today conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Delhi in acknowledgement of his exemplary contribution to international humanitarian causes.

Vice President Hamid Ansari, who is also Chancellor of the University, presented the honorary degree to the 57-year-old British Premier at a special convocation held in the historic Old Vice Regal Lodge in the varsity.

The decision to confer the Ph.D is seen as a friendly gesture to the British Prime Minister. The Cambridge University had conferred an honorary doctorate on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh three months ago.

Reading out the citation, University Vice Chancellor Deepak Pental said Brown has been known for his commitment to eradication of poverty and his campaign to increase aid to provide every child with education and health-care.

He said the University decided to confer the honorary D.Litt on Brown "for demonstrating this deep commitment to human values and the betterment of human life."

Giving his acceptance speech at the function that was attended by a large number of students from the university, Brown described the degree as a "real privilege".

"I am honoured to get an honorary doctorate today of a university that plays such a big part in encouraging the potential and talent of so many young people from so many different parts of the world. You should feel proud of this great university," he said.

Stressing on his pet topic of providing education to all children, Brown, a former lecturer, said India and Britain should work together towards a common goal of universal education.

"I want us in Britain to work with you in India to offer every single individual in the world universal free education for all children which will be our declaration for the future," Brown said.

He said the aim was to get international aid to every continent of the world so that by 2015, instead of the 17 billion children that were devoid of education, every child in every country would enjoy that basic fundamental right.

On bilateral relations, he said, "We seek today and rightly so a partnership of equals between India and Britain, two great 21st century modern economies, and one of the oldest democracies in the world and the biggest democracy in the world working together for a common end."

He noted that the two nations are not only inter-twined but are also inter-dependent.

"What we now know is that what happens to the poorest citizen in the poorest country can affect the richest citizen in the richest country... The need to build a new world order is grounded in our shared needs, shared interests and responsibilities," Brown said.

He said the two countries should work towards the goal of having the "fractured world" forge a new economic and social covenant, "a global unity between developed and developing countries".

In this framework, he said institutions like the Delhi University could help prevent the "tragic waste of human potential".

Brown majored in history from Edinburgh University and did his MA there in 1972. He was a lecturer at Glasgow College of Technology in 1976 before entering active politics.

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