Sibal apology fails to move Anand

Icon rejects doctorate

Sibal apology fails to move Anand

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, however, called Anand over the phone in Hyderabad and apologised.

The minister said there was no question of his ministry raising queries over Anand’s citizenship and that he has persuaded him to accept the doctorate.
However, the chess wizard politely turned it down for the present, saying he would accept it at a later date because of his travel schedule and prior commitments.

Anand was to be conferred the honorary doctorate along with Prof David Mumford of Harvard University at a function in Hyderabad on Monday night, coinciding with the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM).

In 2009, the University of Hyderabad had decided to give the award to Anand.
The university then formally forwarded the proposal to the HRD Ministry which reportedly cancelled his nomination on the ground that they were not sure whether he is an Indian or Spanish citizen as he has been living in Spain for quite some time. As reports of the unsavoury episode broke out in the media, Sibal sought to do some damage control.  
“In the case of Vishwanathan Anand there is no question over his citizenship. We are sorry for what has transpired. I told him even if some Indians were to acquire foreign nationality we are still proud of them,” the minister told a press conference in Delhi.

Bureaucratic bungling
He blamed the bureaucratic procedures for the delay in clearing the doctorate for Anand, who maintained he had always played under the Indian flag and held an Indian passport. “I don’t understand this issue. I am in Hyderabad to play with mathematicians and enjoy the congress,” said the grandmaster, who went ahead to play a game of chess with 40 mathematicians.

Anand, who played simultaneous chess against 35 mathematicians and five nominees selected by Infosys at the ongoing ICM, remained calm through out his game.
He defeated all his opponents barring one in a game that lasted over three hours.
Anand, who participated in a question-answer session, also gave away autographs to his fans.

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