Fraser Nelson

Delhi University up in arms over Brown’s “doctorate”

Delhi University up in arms over Brown's "doctorate"
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In last week's Spectator, I disclosed, that Indian's government was stuck for ideas as to what to give Gordon Brown as a present for his visit and ordered Delhi University to deliver an honorary PhD - for "Public services and academia." When I spoke to No10 before that piece, they were unable to confirm that the award would go ahead. I speculated that this was because it may invite awkward questions such as "what as Brown ever achieved in the public services?" But the true controversy, according to The Hindu newspaper, is that the University academics are strongly against the plan - and of the 280 people present, just 15 supported giving Dr Brown another doctorate. What's more, according to The Tribune, Deepak Pental, the vice-chancellor who over-rode their votes is now being accused of "gross misconduct" for ignoring them. The Indian teachers' union says the opposition was due to the Iraq war, but I can think of stronger grounds. Can you name three things Brown has contributed - intellectually - to public services in this country? Except to test to destruction the idea that more cash works? In fairness to Brown, he probably didn’t want this PhD and will be deeply embarrassed if this row gets out.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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