Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala University will confer honorary doctorates on astrophysicist Jayant Narlikar and Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan at a function to be held at the senate hall here on Thursday. But Governor P. Sathasivam, chancellor of the university, will be absent and in his place Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel, pro-chancellor, will lead the convocation.
R. S. Sasikumar, chairman of Save University Campaign Committee, alleged that the function was deliberately scheduled at a date when the governor was unavailable.
However, Vice-Chancellor V. P. Mahadevan Pillai clarified that the convocation schedule was finalised by the governor's office well in advance keeping in view the busy schedules of the recipients of the honorary doctorates. They did not consider the engagements of the governor while taking the decision, said Mr Pillai.
Though scientist Prof C.N.R. Rao was also selected for the honorary doctorate, it would be presented at a later date considering his schedule.
Narlikar, 81, astrophysicist and former president of the Cosmology Commission of the International Astronomical Union, has received many national and international awards and honorary doctorates. He was awarded India's second highest civilian honour, Padma Vibhushan in 2004 and Padma Bhushan in 1965. Apart from his scientific research, Narlikar is well-known as a communicator of science through his books, articles and radio-television programmes. He was awarded the Kalinga prize by UNESCO in 1996. Narlikar's autobiography in Marathi, 'Chaar Nagarantale Maze Vishwa,' won the Sahitya Akademi award in 2014.
Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao FRS, popularly known as C. N. R. Rao, 85, is a chemist who currently serves as the head of the scientific advisory council to the Prime Minister.
S. Gopalakrishnan, 64, popularly known as Kris Gopalakrishnan, is the chairman of Axilor ventures and was the former co-chairman of Infosys. The Union government had honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 2011. An alumnus of IIT Chennai, Gopalakrishnan co- founded Infosys with six other entrepreneurs. He has been the chairman on International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore, and vice-chairman of the Board for Information Technology Education standards ( BITES) set up by the Karnataka government. He is the trustee of the Infosys Science Foundation and chief mentor of Startup Village.
The university has given away 28 honorary doctorates in letters (D.Litt), science(D.Sc) and law(LLD) since its inception....