Mr Ajit Kumar Seth, former Cabinet Secretary of the Republic of India, has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Birmingham, UK. He was named Doctor of the University on Wednesday 15 July, in the University’s historic Great Hall, in the presence of hundreds of graduands and their families.
Mr Ajit Seth, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, was the 30th Cabinet Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India from June 2011 and was superannuated in June this year. Mr Seth has the unique distinction of being among the longest serving Cabinet Secretaries and the only Cabinet Secretary in India to have served in two successive dispensations.
Prior to this appointment as India’s principal bureaucrat, he spent two years as Secretary for Coordination in the Cabinet Secretariat. Mr Seth is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1974 batch (Uttar Pradesh cadre).
Mr Seth is already an alumnus of the University of Birmingham, being awarded a Master’s in Development Finance in 1993, when he was also awarded the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Prize for his outstanding academic performance. Prior to this he received a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s in Chemistry at St Stephen’s College, New Delhi, and an MPhil in Life Sciences from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), also in New Delhi.
The University’s Chancellor, Indian-born Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea CBE, said, “It is a matter of great pride that Shri Seth is an alumnus of the University of Birmingham, where he graduated in an MSocSc in Development Finance. I am privileged to confer this honorary doctorate on someone whose achievements are not only a matter of great pride to the University, but also as an individual who personifies the strong links between not only the University of Birmingham and India, but the UK and India.’
On receiving his honorary degree from the University of Birmingham, Mr Seth said:
‘I am deeply honoured by the decision of the University of Birmingham to award me an honorary doctorate’.
He also thanked the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor for bestowing this honour upon him.