1. Have an Interesting Snippet to Share : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Would you like to join the IL team? See open jobs!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. What can you teach someone online? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice
  4. If someone taught you via skype, what would you want to learn? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice

Honorary doctorates - are they fair or unfair?

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by crazywriter, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. crazywriter

    crazywriter Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,534
    Likes Received:
    1,033
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    We see a lot of celebrities being conferred with honorary doctorates. Their fans and loyal followers insist on calling them with the prefix Dr. Dr Rajkumar, Dr Vijay (the Tamil actor) Dr Karunanidhi, Dr Vijay Mallya, and so forth. Many universities confer doctorate degrees to people of repute, who have contributed significantly to their field of operation.

    I have always wondered on this practise. Is it justified? Is it fair to hand a doctorate degree to an individual just like that? I am not undermining the contribution of the person to the society; it is in no small means. Yet, this thought always plagues me.

    Doing research is no mean feat. It takes people years to complete their thesis, and submit it. In that time, they must acquire enough knowledge on the subject to answer questions from the examiners. You have to travel in some cases, talk to a lot of people, and compile your dissertation. You have to dedicate every minute to your study. Some people give up their social lives, if they are unable to balance both. Many doctoral candidates pursue their research after their marriage. This is another great task, as with marriage comes a lot of responsibility, and new family members. This applies to both spouses. Apart from that, some candidates choose to teach, which is a good idea, as you get more insight into your subject. Again, some candidates might be rejected in their first attempt, and they will have to wait for one more year before they can submit their dissertation and attend the viva.
    How would it be justified if a doctorate were given to someone who has not even completed class 8? This is true in quite a few cases. They do not have a minimum of even tenth pass, and they are given doctorates. My question is, are they deserving candidates for an honour as great as a PhD.

    By giving out honorary doctorates, are we devaluing the candidates who work hard, carry out research, write their thesis, present it, field the questions, and wait for years to get the title of Dr? Is it a right choice? Dear ILites, please give your opinion on this topic.
     
  2. rgsrinivasan

    rgsrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    10,210
    Likes Received:
    9,859
    Trophy Points:
    540
    Gender:
    Male
    In my opinion, definitely not, CrazyWriter. Even the people to whom it is conferred, would one day realize that it is odd and doesn't suit them, I guess. Just like a child wearing its father's shirt, it fits loosely on them and people generally don't take that seriously, except those who try to please them for their own favour. Its better that our universities stop doing this, as it makes a mockery of genuine candidates. Nice to see your blog. Thanks. -rgs
     
  3. crazywriter

    crazywriter Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,534
    Likes Received:
    1,033
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    Thank you for your comment Rgs :) and I am glad we share the same opinion about honorary doctorates. And yes, institutuions should stop this practise. If this trend continues, what if they insist on giving a PhD to someone who is illiterate, who does not know to read or write?
     
  4. Pallavi4me

    Pallavi4me Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    2,316
    Likes Received:
    4,533
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    A Good Valid point crazywriter.

    Generally an honorary doctorate is being just as an honour by the person towards the society / nation in some manner. But that has become a practice to give the doctorate to the undeserving people. The purpose by giving a doctorate who doesnt know the worth of it is really a pity.

    Now this incident came to my mind - Where Viswanathan Ananath's honorary doctorate award ceremony at some university is being cancelled at the last moment due to some bureau cractic issues. Even then he dealt with the issue in a matured way and just refused to accept it when they have offered again (in the same ceremony) to avoid any kind of unnecessary issues.
     
  5. crazywriter

    crazywriter Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,534
    Likes Received:
    1,033
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    Thank you Pallavi. Exactly, you said it. They end up giving doctorates to anyone and everyone.

    And thank you for sharing that incident abour Vishwanathan Anand. It was decent on his part to refuse the PhD, he was smart to understand that there might be problems for him later.
     
  6. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    4,665
    Likes Received:
    3,681
    Trophy Points:
    340
    Gender:
    Female
    I too concur with rgs and Pallavi. Those who really deserve it do not get it.
    So many awards are like, Bharatha Rathna, Padmabhushan, Padmavibhushan etc. also awarded to undeserving people.
    PS
     
  7. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    11,455
    Likes Received:
    20,251
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    Thank you for presenting a wonderful blog Crazywriter. I am always against awarding any degree unless someone go through a formal education and training. I don't mind giving any titles as they please, I really don't care but a doctoral degree from an University is precious and should be awarded only for someone who has specialized a subject and presented their thesis for a formal review by experts int that field. I was a witness to one of them that was given in 1971 and the students agitated against awarding that doctoral degree. The students were beaten by the police, one student lost his life and finally the University was closed for more than 2 months.

    I wrote a blog about it and here is the link.

    Political clout - Blogs - IndusLadies

    Viswa
     
  8. crazywriter

    crazywriter Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,534
    Likes Received:
    1,033
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    Thanks for your opinion, Pushpavalli, yes indeed, you are bang on target about the Padma awards. These sacred titles are getting tangled in political muck and mire.
     
  9. crazywriter

    crazywriter Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,534
    Likes Received:
    1,033
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Viswa, it is a sad situation where someone is silenced permanently for simply giving their opinion. When will the biggies who rule us realise that we live in a democracy, where everyone has a right to express their opinion?!
     

Share This Page