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Indian president receives honorary doctorate from UJ

By Abeer Numan - Oct 11,2015 - Last updated at Oct 11,2015

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee receives the doctoral hood at a ceremony at the University of Jordan in Amman on Sunday, where he received an honorary doctorate (Photo by Hassan Tamimi)

AMMAN — The University of Jordan (UJ) on Sunday conferred an honorary doctorate on India’s President Pranab Mukherjee in recognition of his contributions to India and world countries.

At a ceremony that was held at the university’s engineering faculty, UJ President Ekhleif Tarawneh said the UJ council of deans decided to confer an honorary doctorate in political science on India’s president, in recognition of his achievements as a “visionary statesman, politician and economist who has rendered great contributions to humanity”.

Underscoring his accomplishments, Tarawneh said the president is known for cultivating tolerance, strengthening Indo-Arab relations and supporting Arab causes, besides spearheading critical decisions to forge unity and foster cooperation. 

The Indian president thanked Jordan and UJ for the honorary degree.

“It is a great privilege,” he said, expressing hope that his visit will help “in strengthening cooperation and forging partnerships” between the two countries. 

The president also delivered a lecture at UJ, highighing the deep ties between his country and Jordan and their growth over the years.

India’s Ambassador to Jordan Anil Trigunayat told The Jordan Times that India has extended a line of credit of $100 million to Jordan for promoting trade and economic cooperation and doubled scholarships for Jordan from 25 to 50.

“We also agreed to work more closely on counterterrorism,” he said on the sidelines of the ceremony at UJ.

The diplomat also extended gratitude to His Majesty King Abdullah and to Jordan for supporting India’s bid for a permanent seat in a reformed and expanded UN Security Council.  

“We are grateful to His Majesty King Abdullah and Jordan for extending their fullest support to India’s bid for a permanent seat for a reformed and expanded UNSC, as well as for the UN reforms in general during this 70th anniversary of UN,” he added. 

Zu’bi Al Zu’bi, who is chairman of the UJ business management department, described the Indian president’s visit as a move in the right direction, saying it is pivotal in reducing political dependency on the traditional players in the region. 

Economically speaking, he said Jordan can increase its exports to India, especially natural resources.  

Earlier in the day, an Indian academic delegation, representing leading Indian universities, signed memoranda of understanding with five Jordanian universities. 

They are the UJ, Yarmouk University, Balqa Applied Universiy, Al al Bayt University and Al Isra University, Professor Sudhir K. Sopory, vice chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University told The Jordan Times.  

“We are looking into some exchange programmes and areas of cooperation,” he noted.  

“We are happy to see that there are closer relations between the Arab world and India,” Talat Ahmad, vice chancellor of Jamia Milia Islamia University, commented. 

The academic delegates also included Partha P. Chakrabarti of the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and Professor M. M. Chaturvedi, director of India’s Cluster Innovation Centre. 

Mukherjee, who is accompanied by government officials and parliament members representing major political parties in India, began his official visit to the Kingdom on Saturday during which he held discussions with King Abdullah that addressed ways to boost economic cooperation and foster Indo-Jordanian coordination in different fields. 

The Indian president is also scheduled to visit the West Bank and Israel. 

Also on Sunday, Mukherjee visited Al Hussein Park, where he planted an olive sapling for world peace.

He was accompanied by Labour Minister Nidal Katamine, Amman Mayor Aqel Biltaji and several officials, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The president also inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi Street in Abdoun. 

Mukherjee thanked Jordanians for their hospitality, commending the Greater Amman Municipality’s decision to name the street after Gandhi, according to Petra.


Later on Sunday, he visited the Citadel archaeological site in Amman’s Jabal Qalaa neighbourhood and was briefed on its history.

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