This blog reviews books, politics and international events from a distinct perspective. Book reviews will be interesting to historians and graduate students alike.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Twenty Second Convocation of Pondicherry University
A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books
Today the 22nd Convocation of Pondicherry University, a major central university of India, was held and as is always the case the event was choreographed to perfection. The University has seen a fantastic progress during the course of the past few years particularly during the administration of Professor J A K Tareen the current Vice Chancellor. I had to attend the Convocation in the usual academic robes and I most most impressed with the Convocation Address of Her Excellency Nirupama Rao, India's Ambassador to the United States.
The D Litt (Honoris Causa) was conferred on two distinguished individuals:Justice M N Venkatachaliah and Her Excellency Nirupama Rao. Both have achieved a high degree of recongined stature in their respective field of endeavor. As Chief Justice of India M N Venkatachaliah was instrumental in shaping jurisprudence in a fundamental way and he also presided over the Commission set up to Review the Working of the Indian Constitution. He gave an erudite speech in which he effortlessly flitted from quantum physics to literature to history and he spoke of the convergence of different streams of science during the course of the present century which will enhance the life span of people.
Her Excellency Nirupama Rao spoke with a clipped accent of one well trained in the corridors of power. Her Address was inspiring as my young daughter who attended the Convocation was most impressed with her speech. Being a serving Ambassador she could not touch on aspects of Indian foreign policy which are controversial. However, she did recognize the vital importance of maintaining friendly relations with China. I personally believe that India must do more to improve relations with China and must not make the blunder of coming under the influence of the USA which regards China as a threat. India can learn a great deal from China and I wish the speaker who was an envoy in China had spoken of this as well.
The number of students in the University has increased 7 fold and this year 85 Ph D degrees were awarded and the picture captures one of then receiving her degree from Nirupama Rao.