It was a record of sorts for the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University at its 31st convocation here on Wednesday. The event featured three incidents that were first-of-its-kind in the history of the university.
First, four persons were conferred with Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) for their contribution in their respective fields of work. Second, a woman was among the four. Third, the convocation proceedings and citation were in Tamil.
Vice-Chancellor of the university P. Murugesa Boopathi told The Hindu that to commemorate the World Classical Tamil Conference that was held here recently, the university had decided to conduct the proceedings in Tamil.
“The normal trend is to award honorary doctorates to one or a maximum of two persons. This time, we selected three persons who had an exemplary track record in the field of agriculture and agro-economy. Since this is the International Year of the Woman, the Academic Council and Board of Management suggested the inclusion of a woman achiever. All the four names were sent to the Governor for short-listing. But, to our surprise he approved all the four names. So, for the first time we are giving degrees to four persons, including a woman,” he said.
A. Sivasailam, Chairman of the Rs.7,000-crore Amalgamations Group, Chennai, was conferred the degree in recognition of his contributions to agri-business management and institutional development. Under his leadership farm machineries had been manufactured and marketed in many countries, and agricultural input services extended to millions of farmers.
A. Vellayan, Chairman, Murugappa Corporate Board, EID Parry (India) Limited, Chennai, was conferred the degree in recognition of his leadership in agricultural inputs’ and processing industries, and plantations, that had contributed to the flow of good quality agro-inputs to enhance production in the agricultural sector and to the food supply chain.
M. Manickam, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Sakthi Sugars Limited, Coimbatore, was conferred the degree in recognition of his effective transfer of modern technologies for cultivation of sugarcane and soybean to the field. He was also instrumental in importing raw sugar and processing it domestically.
Santhi Duraisamy, Director, Sakthi Masala Group, Erode, was chosen for the doctorate for her interest in value-addition to agricultural produce, implementing rain harvesting ponds, promoting organic farming in mango, gooseberry, chikku, guava, and banana, apart from sugarcane and turmeric. She is also recognised for her massive tree planting activities and for employing a large number of differently-abled persons in her enterprise.
On accepting the degrees, the recipients expressed their desire to collaborate with the university in making available financial and human resources. They also offered co-operation in identifying projects that could benefit farmers and the rural economy.
Minister of Agriculture Veerapandi S. Arumugam conferred the degrees and the Vice-Chancellor read out the citations
Source -- HINDU