According to media reports, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has turned down a request to felicitate honorary doctorate degree to Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan. In a response to an RTI, HRD ministry stated that the decision of turning down the request of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University, as Shah Rukh Khan has already been conferred the doctorate degree by Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANNU) in 2016.
Earlier, the varsity sent a request for the same to Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry last year. “Jamia Millia Islamia wrote to HRD for conferring Honoris Causa to Shah Rukh Khan. The HRD did not agree as he has already been conferred the degree by Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANNU) in 2016,” Jamia Millia Islamia said in response to a RTI query by The Indian Express.
Stating the rules of granting doctorate, HRD officials said there are no fixed rules regarding this, but the practice is usually “discouraged”. Not to forget that, the actor was a master’s student of JMI’s mass communication research center. However, he was not able to appear for his final year exam due to a shortage of attendance.
Speaking on the issue, Higher Education Secretary R Subrahmanyam told Indian Express that since 2014, there has not been any instance where the same person has been awarded honorary doctorate in more than one central university. He went on to add, “Whenever there is a recommendation of the Executive Committee seeking approval for awarding an honorary doctorate, we check whether the same person has been awarded the same honour by another central university; and whether there is any conflict of interest.”
“In case of Shah Rukh Khan, his exceptional services in the field of acting have already been recognized by another central university MANUU, Hyderabad by conferring the honorary doctorate with the approval of Hon President of India and MHRD,” he added.
On the movie front, the past three years has been nothing less than tumultuous for this ‘romance superstar’. Beginning as an energetic, youthful actor, who was willing to take risks, Shah Rukh Khan was once a trendsetter. Initially, when an SRK movie released, irrespective of whether someone else released their film or not, the superstar would win the economic game hands down. But except for ‘Dear Zindagi’, which was a critical as well as a commercial success, SRK has nothing to be proud of in the past 3-4 years, with his last movie ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ turning out to be a domestic flop, a rare phenomenon for SRK.
One of the most prominent reasons behind the slow and steady decline of SRK is his reluctance to return to his versatile mode. The notorious era of Bollywood, where getting typecast would come to one’s rescue has long gone. One needs to accept all kinds of roles in order to ensure his survival in showbiz.