Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had declined an honorary doctorate degree from Banaras Hindu University, on Monday apologised for having refused "politely" a proposal in this regard and said Banaras has already given him so much for which he is indebted to it.
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The Prime Minister said while he does not accept such honour, just to visit an institution like BHU is a matter of great pride for him.
"I had received a letter from the University for conferring on a me a doctorate. I politely said no to it. I believe, the more I can keep away from these things, the better. That is my endeavour. But, I am grateful to the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and the University that you chose me for this," he said.
He was speaking at the Centenary Year Convocation of BHU today.
"Please don't feel bad that I have said no. This is such a big institution, to just come here is a matter of great pride for me. And what the people of Banaras have given me, no University can. So I am indebted to Banaras," Modi said expressing gratitude.
BHU had proposed to confer Doctor of Laws (LLD) (honoris causa) on Modi in recognition of his "yeoman services as an innovator, reformer and an outstanding leader in public service and governance".
It had requested for his consent which the Prime Minister declined.
This is not the first time that Modi has declined a doctorate. In the run up to his US visit in 2014, a university in Louisiana had proposed to confer an honorary doctorate on him in recognition of his contribution towards social transformation, especially for empowering women and minorities in Gujarat which he declined.
Even as chief minister, he had declined honorary doctorates from various universities.