Encaenia is the ceremony at which the University of Oxford awards honorary degrees to distinguished men and women and commemorates its benefactors. The ceremony is held annually.

The Serum Institute of India was founded by Dr. Poonawalla in 1966 and ‘is now the world’s largest manufacturer of life-saving vaccines by number of doses, producing more than 1.5 billion doses a year that are used in over 170 countries.

“With Dr Poonawalla’s vision the Serum Institute has reached the unmatched figure of protecting more than two-thirds of the infant population globally. He is also a generous philanthropist, focusing on public causes and underserved communities,” says a statement from the University on its website.

Other awardees include Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, a singer from Pakistan, Professor Sir Simon Wessely, Regius Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College London, Professor Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs Emeritus at Princeton University, Mr. Yo-Yo Ma, a world-renowned cellist, Professor Shafi Goldwasser, a computer scientist and the RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Professor Andrea Ghez, an astronomer and Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California (LA), and Professor Jennifer A. Doudna is Professor of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley.

(Written by Anisha Singh for NDTV.com)