Union Human Resources Ministry denied permission to the University of Hyderabad to confer an honorary doctorate on chess icon Vishwanathan Anand citing doubts over his nationality.
The denial prompted the chess champion to turn down the honour.
The development triggered a huge furore across the country, as it was felt that the HRD ministry had deliberately humiliated Anand, the reigning World Chess Champion, by questioning his citizenship.
HRD minister Kapil Sibal rang him up to apologise for the embarrassment caused to him, asserting that his nationality had never been questioned by the ministry.
Text: Sify News Desk
(Photographs copyright PTI, AP and APF)