Queen's University Belfast confers honorary Doctorate on Kalam


Dr Kalam, popularly known as India's 'missile man', received the honour at a special ceremony last evening from Vice Chancellor of the University Professor Peter Gregson for "distinction in public service."
The ceremony was the latest development in QUB's growing connections with India, where the university has recently forged several dynamic academic partnerships.
Gregson said: "Through Dr Kalam's outstanding abilities as a world statesman, scientist, educator and visionary, he has inspired millions in his native India and around the world.
"It is a significant honour for Queen's to host this visit from the former leader of one of the world's most thriving and exciting countries. A number of distinguished Indian institutions hold a special place within the Queen's family of academic partners and Dr Kalam's visit is a tangible example of the educational, research, business and cultural links between India and Northern Ireland."

A former Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, Dr Kalam is also an award-winning aerospace engineer who played a leading role in many of India's most recent technological breakthroughs, including the landing of India's first unmanned lunar spacecraft in November last year.
In 2007, he was awarded the prestigious King Charles II medal of the Royal Society and in April this year he became the first Asian to receive the Hoover Medal, America's top engineering prize.
Sir Reg Empey, Minister for Employment and Learning, said: "The conferment of an honorary degree on Dr Abdul Kalam, a pre-eminent scientist and a widely respected former President, reflects the breadth and depth of the collaborations between Queen's University and India.
"My Department strongly supports the collaborations being forged in seeking to further strengthen the vital bridge between India and Northern Ireland."
QUB's links with India include student exchanges between the School of English and Hyderabad University under the Prime Ministers Initiative and a research partnership with the National Institute of Immunology, Delhi which focuses on cancer biology and is supported by the Ministry of Biotechnology.
In 2008, QUB opened the East India Water Research Centre in partnership with Bengal Engineering and Science University and India's Institute of Environmental Management and Studies.

Queen's has produced the world's first low-cost technology to provide arsenic-free water to people in India and has been selected by the British Council to provide groundwater management training in regions polluted by arsenic.
As part of its Centenary celebrations last year, the university launched its Queen's-India Lecture Series. Lord Diljit Rana, India's Honorary Consul to Northern Ireland, and Northern Ireland's Minister for Employment and Learning, Sir Reg Empey were present on the occasion. PTI PS

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