The Calcutta University (CU) decided to confer a posthumous doctorate to an outstanding Lithuanian traveller and anthropologist Antanas Poška on 28November 2014.
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee attended a special convocation ceremony along with the governor of West Bengal Keshari Nath Tripathi and vice chancellor Suranjan Das to confer the honorary degree to Antanas Poška for his contribution to Indological studies.
Antanas Poška undertook an incredible journey to India on a motor bike all the way from Vilnius in 1929. The Lithuanian travelled down south to Egypt, through Central Asia, with India as his final destination. From Iran, he took a ship to Bombay. In early 1931 he joined the University of Bombay, where he received his Bachelor degree in 1933. He later spent months studying in Calcutta University and also worked in the city's National Museum as a scholar. The five years he spent in India, including three in Calcutta, resulted in an eight-volume travelogue titled „From the Baltic Sea to Bengal". He devoted the years in India to the study of commonalities between Lithuanian language and Sanskrit, Indian Vedas and Lithuanian folklore, making friends among Indian intelligentsia and expressing his passionate support for Indian independence.
The award was initiated by the Lithuanian-Indian Forum, Vilnius University being among its active founders. In 2013, the researchers of the Centre of Oriental Studies of Vilnius University, such as professor Audrius Beinorius, associated professor Valdas Jaskūnas and Vytis Vidūnas participated in the organized expedition „Along the Road of Antanas Poška" in India to commemorate 110 anniversary of Antanas Poška and reveal his scientific activity in India.