I feel proud to become associated with Jamia: Nobel laureate Prof Sen
OT, December 16, 2011 18:45 IST
Okhla Times Campus Reporter/JMI
Jamia Millia Islamia held a ‘Special Convocation’ on December 16, 2011 at 3 PM in Dr. M.A. Ansari Auditorium, Jamia Millia Islamia to confer the degree of ‘Doctor of Letters’ (Honoris Causa) on Prof. Amartya Sen. Najeeb Jung, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia presided over the ‘Special Convocation’.
The Citation presented to him on the occasion reads, “In honouring Professor Amartya Sen with the degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa), the Jamia Millia Islamia, an institution established to encourage innovative thought and champion the cause of India’s Freedom, acknowledges his seminal contribution to the domain of knowledge, scholarship and critical thought.’
Najeeb Jung on the occasion highlighted “the importance of being Amartya Sen in these polarized times” and added that “the lesson of his remarkable life for all us in the university is fourfold.
After receiving the degree of ‘Doctor of Letters’, Prof Amartya Sen said that that he is proud to become associated with Jamia Millia Islamia which is an admixture of South Asian Muslim History, National Heritage, and a Global Academic Institution.
While posing the question that, ‘does higher education make a huge difference?’, Prof Amartya Sen cited the names of the likes of Mahatama Gandhi, Karl Marx, Nelson Mandela, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad among others to highlight the importance of higher education in providing the foundation for their success in their respective field of operation.
Prof Sen further added that the highest contribution of any higher education is “the cultivation of questioning and doubt”. Quoting Francis Bacon, he said that there is an inviolable connection between knowledge and doubt.
Prof. Amartya Sen is a world renowned Economist who was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to ‘welfare economics’ and ‘social choice theory’ and for bringing into focus the problems of the poorest members of society. He was awarded the ‘Bharat Ratna’, the highest civilian award in India, in 1999.
Prof Sen is currently the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University.
The convocation was attended by the university community – students, teachers and staff as also by invited dignitaries from the government, embassies, other academic institutions and members of the press.