New Delhi: Honouring the genius of Nobel
Laureate Amartya Sen, the prestigious Jamia Milia Islamia
on Friday conferred the degree of `Doctor of Letters` on him for
his contribution to the domain of knowledge.
Sen, whose work on welfare economics, particularly on the
causes of famine, won him a Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998,
was honoured at a special convocation here.
Though Sen is not new to such honours, and has also been
awarded India`s highest civilian honour the Bharat Ratna in
1999, he said he was proud to be associated with the
university which is an admixture of South Asian Muslim
History, National Heritage, and a Global Academic Institution.
He batted for promotion of higher education, and referred
to great names like Mahatma Gandhi, Karl Marx, Nelson Mandela
and Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad to press in his point that higher
education was important in providing a strong foundation for
He said the highest contribution of any higher education
is "the cultivation of questioning and doubt".
The citation presented to him with the honour said the
varsity "acknowledges his seminal contribution to the domain
of knowledge, scholarship and critical thought".
Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jung said Prof Sen has been Master
of Trinity College, Cambridge, President of the American
Economic Association, Professor at Harvard "without once
ceasing to be an engaged Indian".
This, he said, was linked to the Nobel Laureate`s
attachment to Bengal, his socialisation is Santiniketan, his
immersion in the history of the sub-continent, and "his
conviction that cosmopolitanism and Indianness are functions
of one`s values, not one`s location".
Last year, the University had chosen to honour another
Nobel laureate in the Dalai Lama.