Abhinav Bindra becomes 'doctor'
The sprawling campus of SRM University at Kattankulathur, 35 km from the Chennai, came to life as students jostled for a close look at India’s latest icon Abhinav Bindra, who had come down to grace the university’s fourth annual convocation and collect his first honorary doctorate.?

Bindra, the only Indian to win an individual gold in Olympics, arrived at 9.30 am, accompanied by father Apjit Bindra and mother Babli. Thousands of mobile cameras clicked as they entered the SRM auditorium at 10.45 am along with ISRO chairman Dr G Madhavan Nair, 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the convocation.?

Abhinav looked composed as ever in his red ceremonial robe as he took his marked seat next to vice-chancellor of the university P Sathyanarayanan, who briefed the ace shooter about the university and the activities on the campus.?

There was a whole gallery of faculties and top officials of the university on the dais, dressed for the occasion in different colours of robes. Another 2,000 people formed the audience. Apjit Bindra and Babli were seated on the front row of the audience and both of them were busy reading the convocation addresses in print. At 11, Tamil Nadu governor and chief guest Surjit Singh Barnala walked in.?

Dr Madhavan Nair, in his address, lauded his ‘young friend’ Abhinav Bindra and emphasised that “he (Bindra) has become the role model for all”. The ISRO chairman said Bindra had proved what individual talent can do in a chosen field and exhorted the youth to put in the extra effort to achieve top results in whatever field they pursued.?

Between Dr Nair and Bindra, the focus was trained on the sportsman as cameramen demanded that the shooter turn his face towards them while receiving the degree award.?

In his address, Bindra said he would help the university in its promotion of sports. “Right now, the media in India is cricket-focused...They have to look at other disciplines as well,” he said. As he left the auditorium, the shooter was surrounded by hundreds of students and a horde of photographers — the kind of adulation reserved only for cricketers in India.?