News Release

BYU Gives Distinguished Friend from India an Honorary Degree for Promoting Peace

Revered Professor Dr. Vishwanath Karad, founder and president of World Peace University, receives an honorary doctoral degree

Brigham Young University bestowed an honorary doctoral degree on Revered Professor Dr. Vishwanath Karad during the school’s commencement ceremony on Thursday, April 25, 2024.

Dr. Karad, the founder and chief patron of the Maharashtra Academy of Engineering, and Educational Reseaerch in Pune, India. He is also the UNESCO chair for human rights, democracy, Peace and tolerance. In 1996, he established the World Peace Center at the Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) in Pune.

“[The World Peace Center] emphasizes the importance of values-based universal education in promoting a culture of peace in the global society,” said BYU President C. Shane Reese during the ceremony in the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. “Professor Dr. Karad is a friend of Utah, Brigham Young University and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Brigham Young University is pleased to confer upon Professor Dr. Vishwanath Karad the degree of doctor of educational and international leadership.”

In November 2022, Dr. Karad welcomed to Pune a Latter-day Saint delegation, including Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. During their visit, Dr. Karad unveiled a 15-foot-high bronze statue of the Prophet Joseph Smith at the World Peace Dome. The statue of the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined the statues of 54 other religious leaders, scientists and philosophers that adorn the 263-foot-high dome at the MIT World Peace University.

In his 16-minute speech, Dr. Karad spoke with gratitude for his nine-year association with the Church of Jesus Christ.

“It was such a great revelation to me that the principles and values practiced by [Latter-day Saints] are so similar to the principles and values and laws practiced by the Vaishnav-Warkari tradition in which I was born and reared,” Dr. Karad said.

Speaking of Joseph Smith, Dr. Karad said the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “epitomized everything that is noble in human beings.”

“[Joseph] faced great odds and torment in his life so that an era of love, compassion, understanding and brotherhood could be established in a terribly violent society,” Dr. Karad said. “The Prophet Joseph Smith said that the best way to obtain truth and wisdom is not to ask from books, but to go to God in prayer. This is absolutely similar to what Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh religion, asserted when he said that knowledge can be obtained not just through reading but by being in the presence of God.”

As he concluded his remarks, Dr. Karad quoted from the Atharva Veda, an ancient text from India, emphasizing the need for everyone to live in peace and harmony.

We are the birds of the same nest
We may wear different skins
We may speak different tongues
We may believe in different religions
We may belong to different cultures
Yet, we share the same home, Earth
Born on the same planet
Covered by the same skies
Gazing at the same stars
Breathing the same air
We must learn to progress together
Or, miserably perish together
For a person can live individually
But, can only survive collectively

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