Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Wednesday decided to confer its first-ever Distinguished Alumni Award to Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar said a decision in this regard was taken by the university’s Executive Council (EC) in its meeting held on Monday.
“The Executive Council in its meeting on June 12 unanimously approved a proposal to bestow Distinguished Alumni Award on two of its illustrious alumni, Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, during the third convocation of the university to be held in August 2019,” he said.
While Sitharaman completed her MA and M.Phil from the School of Social Sciences and School of International Studies, Jaishankar did his M.Phil and PhD from the School of International Studies, the university said. He specialised in nuclear diplomacy. “Their highly distinguished career and achievements have made the university very proud and they are a great source of inspiration for JNU students and researchers. They will be the first recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award to be conferred by the university,” Kumar said.
A member of the EC who did not wish to be named said the proposal for the same was put forth by the Rector, and that there was no opposition to it: “Some people, however, said alumni belonging to fields other than politics should also be felicitated. To this, we were told that a committee would be set up that will look into the suggestions…”