Chandhigarh,, Feb 17: Lord Swraj Paul, Punjab-born
NRI industrialist, was today conferred with an honorary
doctorate by the Punjab Technical University in recognition
of his excellence in the manufacturing field.
London-based 74-year-old Lord Paul was conferred
with the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Engineering
(honoris causa) at an impressive function attended
by his son Angad, CEO of the Caparo Group, and Punjab
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Lord Paul's niece Sushma Barlia, the vice-chairperson
of Apeejay Education Society, and a number of distinguished
guests including principals and directors of affiliate
colleges of the university were also present.
"I have been privileged to receive a number
of honorary degrees, but to receive an award from
the Punjab Technical University, which is based in
my place of birth, is a very special one," Paul
said in his acceptance speech.
Lord Paul, chairman of the Caparo Group, announced
a donation of Rs 5 crore for setting up a centre of
excellence in the manufacturing industry at Jalandhar,
Punjab Chief Secretary and chairman of the Board
of Governors of the University Jai Singh Gill conferred
the degree. The Punjab Chief Minister handed over
the certificate to Lord Paul.
Returning to Punjab is pleasant. The
state retains a very social attachment. Punjab is
a confluence of values, sentiments and emotional geography.
I am overwhelmed to be here, he said,
adding that such occasions were always marvellous
and give great feelings. Recalling that he had a privilege
of handing over 5500 degrees back in the UK, Lord
Paul said, only three years ago, he handed over a
degree to a 92-year-old woman.
Respecting the commitment to education in India
that his brother Satya Paul showed, Lord Paul said:
I was still a youth when our parents passed
away and it was his guidance and direction that shaped
Earlier, Lord Paul met the Chief Minister and urged
him to set up an international airport at Jalandhar.
When asked if he has any plans to settle down in
India, he said that he had never planned to be in
England. I take life as it comes. In life,
what you plan never works out at times,
Quoting the noted philosopher-revolutionary Aurobindo,
he said that mother India is a power that will lead.
Governments should compensate for the handicaps, provide
the best environment for business and opportunities
India has witnessed a pleasant change.
I am pleased to see new industrialists coming up.
That change has come in the past five years,
he added. The three million graduates passing out
ares Indias strength, he added.
"I am deeply honoured by the kind award that
the university has conferred on me. It gave me an
opportunity to me to come to Punjab," said Lord
Paul. (Agencies/Express India)