President Droupadi Murmu confers honorary doctorates on Pullela Gopichand

President Droupadi Murmu confers honorary doctorates on Pullela Gopichand, four others in Karnataka. – IANS

New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) President of India, Droupadi Murmu, on Tuesday conferred honorary doctorates to former All-England Championship winner and chief coach of the national badminton team, Pullela Gopichand and four other eminent Indians for their contributions to nation-building during the second convocation of Sri Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence in Karnataka.

“It was a great honour to be recognised and conferred with an honorary doctorate at the hands of the Hon’ble President of India, Draupadi Murmu, along with four other eminent Indians during the second convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence in Karnataka, which provides totally free education to first-generation literates. The Hon’ble President rose to the highest office, fighting all odds and socio-economic challenges. Her life story is an inspiration for all of us and all the graduating students of this university,” Gopichand, the veteran badminton champion, said on Tuesday.

The President conferred honorary doctorates on five eminent Indians, including Gopichand, who have excelled in their fields and contributed to nation-building to the best of their capacities. 

Ganakalabhushana Vidwan Dr. R. K. Padmanabha, renowned Carnatic music vocalist (Music and Art); Dr. Pratima Murthy, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Healthcare); Vedic Scholar and Padma Shri Awardee Prof. Vijay Shankar Shukla, Academic Advisor, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts for Education (Education); and Padma Shri Awardee Tulsi Gowda – Indian Environmentalist (Social Service and Philanthropy) were the four other eminent Indians were given honorary doctorates during the convocation.

President Droupadi Murmu presided over the second convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence in Muddenahalli (near Bengaluru) in Karnataka on Monday in the presence of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, the Founder of the University. The varsity provides higher education completely free of charge to rural, underserved, and below-the-poverty-line first-generation literates.

“Sixty-six per cent of graduates who were awarded their degrees this year came from below-the-line (BPL) families,” the badminton champion informed, adding that with over 70% of the current students coming from the BPL segment, the institution is playing a long-term role in nation-building and unflinching adherence to universal human values.

A record 64% of pass-outs this year are female students. Forty-three per cent of the current students come from rural India, and the founder aims to give them an academic environment that matches the highest global standards and best practices in higher education from across the globe.

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