To cater to the needs of a growing intellectually bankrupt part of our society, the number of ‘universities’ has been allowed to grow relentlessly in the country so much so that today there is a university in even a rented apartment also. This trend is supported by the practice of awarding honorary doctoral degrees to politicians including our Prime Minister, who happens to be my class fellow in Government College, Lahore that many other class fellows don’t even remember.

Conferment of honourary doctorate regardless of person’s intellectual promise is a crime, I personally think but the politicians seem to be happy about this academic lottery. Only a week after Sindh Chief Minister was awarded a honourary P. hD from Shah Latif University while Honourable Chief Justice of Shariah Court Agha Rafiq and Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah were awarded honourary PhD’s from Sindh University, Hyderabad.

Unfortunately, one thing is clear neither of these trends that are to be observed in our society will help to promote education – meaning the acquisition of knowledge, rational thinking and questioning of so many things supposed to be true and valid. At times I think why I have never read these two biographies whereas I have read more than half a dozen biographies of world leaders of modern time. Pakistanis should pause and reconsider: not everybody needs a degree, but those who have one should try to live up to it.

ALI ASHRAF KHAN,

Karachi, January 27.