Hyderabad: World chess champion Viswanathan Anand may have brought laurels to India many a time but doubts have been cast over his nationality, throwing a dampener on University of Hyderabad's plans to honour him with a doctorate.
The Human Resource Development Ministry at the Centre has withheld clearance for the University's proposal to honour Anand along with renowned mathematician David Mumford of Harvard University here yesterday, coinciding with the International Conference on Maths currently on here.
Hailing from Tamil Nadu, Anand made Spain his second home for some years now but continues to hold an Indian passport.
Even after a series of clarifications, including submission of his passport copy, the ministry has kept the file on hold. But with the clearance being withheld, the ceremony has been put on hold
"The honorary doctorate to Viswanathan Anand has not been stalled or denied.It has only been delayed.But we are extremely embarrassed over this," an upset head of UoHs mathematics department Rajat Tandon told PTI.
He said the HRD Ministry has not yet responded to their proposal for awarding the honorary doctorate to the world chess champion.
"The file is still with the Ministry," Tandon said, adding "we apologise to Anand for this."
A top official of the UoH said they were puzzled by the HRD Ministry's actions.
"There had been a lot of correspondence between the University and the Ministry on the issue.In fact, Anand's wife Aruna herself faxed the copy of Anand's passport to the Ministry. But still, the Ministry officials are yet to respond," the official said.
The issue was also placed before the President of India for consideration as she was a Visitor of the Central University.