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Jamia seeks clearance from MEA on doctorate to the Dalai Lama

Jamia Milia Islamia has sought clearance from Ministry of External Affairs for awarding an honorary doctorate to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama next month.



New Delhi: Jamia Milia Islamia has sought
clearance from Ministry of External Affairs for awarding
an honorary doctorate to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai
Lama next month.

Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jung today spoke to Foreign
Secretary Nirupama Rao in the backdrop of a media report that
the MEA was blocking the University`s move to honour the Dalai
Lama as it came ahead of the visit of Chinese Premier Wen
Jiabao to India.
"The Vice Chancellor spoke to the Foreign Secretary
today, and the University has written a letter to the Ministry
seeking a review on their stance," Jamia Milia`s media
coordinator Seemi Malhotra told PTI.

The University had plans to award the doctorate to the
Nobel Laureate on November 23, a month ahead of Jiabao`s visit
to India and apparently the Ministry was apprehensive about
its timing.

"The University is communicating with the Ministry and
we are hoping they would grant us the permission," Malhotra
said.

The programme had been planned for November 23 and
there is still enough time, the official said.

Asked if the University had decided to put off the
ceremony, Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jung said "no", but did not
elaborate.
Asked to comment on the issue at a press briefing, Rao
said the Ministry has taken note of it.

"I have seen the media report... the matter is
receiving our attention," she said, but gave no further
comments.

She, however, noted that the Dalai Lama was a very
respectful religious and spiritual figure for millions of
Indians.

PTI

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