Patna: A 98-year-old man has become the recipient of a postgraduate degree at the 12th annual convocation of Nalanda Open University in Bihar.
Raj Kumar Vaish was awarded a masters degree in economics by Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad at the convocation function of Nalanda Open University, Patna. He had enrolled for MA (Economics) in 2015.
"I am happy today. I had worked hard. For long, I had cherished the dream of completing my masters... the young should concentrate on their education and not on career alone," Mr Vaish told reporters in Patna after receiving the degree.
The university's Registrar SP Sinha told news agency PTI that a total of 22,100 students were awarded various degrees this year. Mr Vaish was among the 2780, including 29 gold medalists, who were invited to the convocation ceremony.
"It is really a big achievement for Nalanda Open University. Hats off to Raj Kumar Vaish and his sheer determination to pursue studies at this age. We wonder where he draws his energy from," Mr Sinha said.
Mr Vaish is probably the oldest person to get a post graduate degree from this university, he said.
The university will preserve his notebooks as a source of inspiration for the youth, Mr Sinha added.
"We are glad that my father fulfilled his dream. At the convocation ceremony, my father was offered a wheelchair since he had difficulty in climbing stairs, but he chose to move with the help of a walker and received his degree," Mr Vaish's son, Santosh Kumar, a retired professor of National Institute of Technology (NIT), Patna, said.
"Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad told my father - 'you are a source of inspiration'," Mr Kumar said.
Mr Vaish completed his graduation from Agra University in 1938 and secured a degree in LLB in 1940, but did not pursue post-graduation after getting a job as a 'law officer' with Christian Mica Industry at Koderma (now in Jharkhand). He retired as a general manager from the company in the early 1980s, his son said.