'Doctor of Letters' - deserved for potential or reserved for purpose?

The Chief minister of Tamil Nadu Edappadi Palaniswami was awarded with honorary doctorate by Dr MGR Educational and Research Institute in Chennai for his exemplary services to the state.

Edappadi Palaniswami was honored with the doctorate degree in the convocation ceremony of the institute that was held yesterday where he was awarded with Doctor of Letters, one of the highest doctorate degrees along with one of the reputed music composers in the state Harris Jayaraj. After being honored with the award, the state Chief minister had added his name in the list of his preceding heads of the state who were honored with such degrees before where the former Chief ministers Karunanidhi, M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa were the previous ones to be the recipients of the doctorate awards. 



The doctorate degree was presented to the Chief minister by the founder and chancellor of the university A C Shanmugam and the citation reads that the degree honor his exemplary services to the state. Being conferred with the award, Edappadi Palaniswami had addressed the students where said that the honorary doctorate had increased his responsibility and advised the students to take the pledge to accomplish the responsibility to contribute for the development of the society and further claimed that the state government has been flagging new proposals to increase the standard of higher education in the state by starting new institutions where he had stated that the Central government will consent for the state's proposal to establish six new medical colleges in the state.



Along with the Chief minister and music composer Harris Jayaraj, the chairman of DRDO Satheesh Reddy, Actor and dancer Shobana Chandrakumar and chairman of Ganga hospitals Raja Sabapathy were conferred with the doctorate awards that were presented by the Chief minister. 

Dr MGR University has been one of the private universities in the state to award honorary doctorates in the middle of the government institutions where in the year of 2007, it had honored Actors Vijay and Vijayakumar with the doctorate degrees while in 2008, Tennis star Sania Mirza was conferred with highest educational award. Through being conferred with the Doctorate, Edappadi Palaniswami will be joining the list of his predecessors who received the honors. Former Chief ministers of the state M Karunanidhi and MG Ramachandran were awarded with four and two doctorate degrees respectively whereas J Jayalalithaa was honored with five doctorate degrees during her tenure.



Dr MGR Educational and Research Institute has been founded by A C Shanmugam, the leader of New Justice party that observes close alliance with ADMK party in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Also read : https://thenewstuff.in/honorary-doctorate-degree-cm-reserved-or-deserved