44 years ago, Anil Kumar Singh had gained the highest marks in Inorganic Chemistry as a student at Lucknow University (LU). This was in 1971, and he was eligible for the M Raman Gold medal for his achievement in the subject. However, the university could not organize a convocation ceremony for graduating students that year. And Anil had been waiting for his medal since then.
He completed his education, served as a teacher in the Chemistry department at the university, and then retired as a professor in June 2012. Still, no medal!
Finally, Professor Singh, who is now 65 years old, received his medal on Saturday last week. All thanks to his perseverance and an RTI query.
For all these years, every time the professor enquired about his medal, he got the same reply that it’s a rule at the university to not hand over medals or degrees in case the convocation gets cancelled for some reason.
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Tired with the unsatisfactory reply and no action to help him out, he filed an RTI on March 24 inquiring about the case. Professor Singh quoted the clause 15.05 in section 49(r) of the first statute of the university, which states the following –
“Where the University, or any associated 49(r) College does not find it convenient to hold the convocation in accordance with Statute 15.01 to Statute 15.04, the degrees, diploma and other academic distinctions may be dispatched to the candidates concerned by registered post.”
The professor asked if this rule is being followed or not. However, there was no reply to this question. So he shot another one, asking that if someone puts in an application for the medal or certificate, will it be given. To this he received an answer saying that if the Vice Chancellor (VC) approves the application, then the medal should be handed over. Professor Singh did so, and his application was accepted. The controller of examination handed him his medal on Saturday.
“The current controller of examinations, SK Shukla, found the records, got my medal made and gave it to me today,” he told The Times of India.
This win has opened the way for all those who deserve a degree or medal from the University, and have been waiting for it since years.