The University of Calicut will confer honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) degrees on film actor Mammootty, freedom fighter Captain Lakshmi Sahgal, and historian Irfan Habib at a special convocation to be held on the campus on Thursday.
Governor R.S. Gavai, who is Chancellor of the university, will confer the degrees. Mr. Mammootty will accept the honour in person when Mr. Habib and Ms. Sahgal will be represented by their deputies.
Apart from these three, Calicut University Syndicate had decided to confer honorary D.Litt. on Malayalam novelist Kovilan also. But his death in June this year deprived him of the topmost degree of the university as the statutes of the university do not permit conferring of a degree posthumously.
The convocation will be held at a specially raised stage in front of the C.H. Mohammed Koya Memorial Central Library. Minister for Education M.A. Baby, who is Pro-Chancellor of the university, will attend the function.
The Senate will meet at a temporary senate house at the venue at 11.40 a.m. and ratify the conferral of D.Litt. degrees. The Chancellor will reach the senate house at 12 noon, and will join an academic procession to the convocation venue.
Members of the Syndicate and Senate will lead the procession, followed by members of the Academic Council, Registrar, Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor, and Chancellor in order.
The convocation is scheduled to begin at 12.05 p.m. and conclude by 1 p.m. It will be a holiday for the university on Thursday.
The Governor reached university campus on Wednesday afternoon. Security on the campus has been stepped up. Only invitees will be allowed to attend the convocation, said university authorities.
So far, the university conferred honorary D.Litt. degrees on 12 persons. They were M.M. Ghani, educationalist and first Vice-Chancellor of Calicut University; K.P. Kesava Menon, freedom fighter and founder of ‘Matrubhumi' newspaper; S.K. Pottekkad, writer; Vaikom Mohammed Basheer, writer; N.V. Krishna Warrier, writer and editor; V.R. Krishna Iyer, jurist; Aryavaidyan P.K. Warrier, chief physician and managing trustee of Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala; M.T. Vasudevan Nair, writer; M.F. Husain, artist; Arun Nigavekar, educationalist and former chairman of the University Grants Commission; Amrik Singh, educationalist; and Kamala Suraiyya, writer.