AGARTALA: Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari Thursday conferred an honorary doctorate of Tripura University on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
"I am extremely grateful to the university and the people of Tripura for giving me such a prestigious honour," said Hasina, who arrived in Tripura Wednesday on a two-day maiden visit.
As Ansari conferred the honorary Doctor of Literature (honoris causa) on Hasina at the university's ninth convocation, the packed hall greeted the Bangladeshi prime minister with a standing ovation and prolonged applause.
Hasina said: "The honour will inspire me to work more for the people of the (South Asian) region."
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipumoni said: "By honouring the Bangladesh prime minister, the Tripura University has brought the people of the two countries closer."
"This is for the first time that the Tripura University has conferred the honorary D.Litt on any person after the university was set up in 1987," Vice Chancellor Arunoday Saha told IANS.
Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry president A.K. Azad, who accompanied the visiting prime minister, said: "This honorary D.Litt has not only honoured Hasina, it honoured the entire 16 crore people of Bangladesh."
This is the second time an Indian university has conferred an honorary D.Litt on Hasina. The 64-year-old Bangladesh leader was conferred the honour by Visva-Bharati University in West Bengal Jan 28, 1999.
She was also conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws for distinguished creative contribution to society by the Australian National University. The Dhaka University honoured her in similar fashion.
She was awarded UNESCO's Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize in 1998 for her contribution to bring peace by ending the 25 years of conflict in Chittagong Hill Tracts with political courage and statesmanship.