NEW DELHI: Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University wanted to confer an honorary doctorate degree to its star alumnus, Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, for his extraordinary contribution to Indian cinema but HRD Ministry has turned down the central university’s request.
Shah Rukh, had received a similar degree from the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) in December 2016.
Khan had given his consent to the proposal via an email dated February 17, 2018, following which the varsity wrote to HRD Ministry on April 11, 2018 for the same.
“JMI wrote to HRD for conferring Honoris Causa to Shah Rukh Khan. The HRD did not agree as he has already been conferred the degree by Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANNU) in 2016,” Jamia Millia Islamia said in response to a RTI query by The Indian Express.
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Higher Education Secretary R Subrahmanyam, when contacted by The Indian Express, acknowledged that there were “no rules issued by UGC regarding this so far”.
“Whenever there is a recommendation of the Executive Committee seeking approval for awarding an honorary doctorate, we check whether the same person has been awarded the same honour by another central university; and whether there is any conflict of interest.”
“In case of Shah Rukh Khan, his exceptional services in the field of acting have already been recognised by another central university MANUU, Hyderabad by conferring the honorary doctorate with the approval of Hon President of India and MHRD,” he added.
Shah Rukh, famously known as King Khan, was a post-graduate student at Jamia’s AJK Mass Communication Research Centre from 1988-90 but could not appear for his final year exam due to poor attendance.