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Indian professor, Oprah honoured at Harvard

May 31, 2013 16:59 IST

Partha Dasgupta, an Indian-origin economics professor at Cambridge, and famed talk show queen Oprah Winfrey were among nine people conferred with honorary degrees at the annual convocation of Harvard University.

Dasgupta was honoured Thursday with a Doctor of Laws degree for his pioneering work in helping bridging the gap between economics and other disciplines -- from anthropology to nutrition to ecology -- by studying the relationships among poverty, population growth, and the environment.

70-year-old Dasgupta, was born in the then-Indian city of Dhaka in 1942 and educated in Varanasi, New Delhi and in Cambridge, UK. He received his doctorate in economics from TrinityCollege, Cambridge, in 1968.

Winfrey, 59, was conferred with a Doctor of Laws degree as one of America's most respected and influential public figures. She rose from humble roots to create a global media empire.

"The Oprah Winfrey Show," which ran from 1986 to 2011, topped the daytime talk show ratings for 24 consecutive seasons and revolutionised the genre.

In 2011, Winfrey launched the Oprah Winfrey Network, a cable channel that reaches two-thirds of American households.

"Oh my goodness. I'm at Harvard! Not too many girls from rural Mississippi have made it all the way here to Cambridge (Massachusetts)," she said.

The others conferred with honorary degrees included Venezuela's musician, economist, and educator Jose Antonio Abreu, African-American doctor Donald R Hopkins, Scientist Robert May, Boston's longest-serving mayor Thomas M Menino, Elaine Pagels, expert on the religions of late antiquity.

Two others conferred with honorary degrees were C Dixon Spangler Jr, President of both the University of North Carolina and Harvard's Board of Overseers, and JoAnne Stubbe, Novartis Professor of Chemistry and a professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Image: Partha Dasgupta

Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

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