New Delhi: Two of the country's leading political figures Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley were on Thursday conferred honorary degrees by a leading British university for their services to India.
The highest award a UK university can bestow was conferred on Mukherjee by the Wolverhampton University in recognition of his outstanding services to Indian society and contribution to international affairs.
Jaitley was honoured with the degree for his contribution to Indian politics and service to the people of India.
Speaking on the occasion before a distinguished gathering here, NRI industrialist and Chancellor of the university Lord Swraj Paul said Mukherjee and Jaitley, through their "inspirational careers", have come to play a vital role in the prosperity and global standing of India.
He said he felt a great sense of pride with the University's connection to India which has a "vast reservoir of dynamic young people, men and women of the next generation whose energy and vision can contribute so much to a brighter future" for the world.
"I believe that joint educational endeavours, such as we are working to create, will fertilise the links between these young people and their British counterparts to the enduring benefit of both nations," he said.
"It is a vision to which I am personally committed and will do my utmost to fulfil," said Paul while noting how proud he was of India and to be Indian.
Such degrees have earlier been conferred on former President A P J Abdul Kalam and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.