Emeritus Dr. Dhanarajan is known internationally for his contribution to Open and Distance Learning. He has been involved in distance education and open learning for over 37 years. He participated in establishing a number of distance education systems across many jurisdictions and has held leadership positions in Hong Kong [OLIHK, Malaysia [WOU] and the Commonwealth of Learning [Canada]. Over the years Dr. Dhanarajan has published a number of scholarly articles in learned journals on education and science, edited and published a series of books on distance and open education and presented well over 25 keynote addresses at conferences relating to Open education. He is the first recipient of the Meritorious Award of the Asian Association of Open Universities in 2004, made a fellow of the Commonwealth of Learning and in 2007 and in 2013 received the ICDE Prize for Lifelong Contribution to open distance education.
Over the years Dr. Dhanarajan served in varying capacities in a number of International bodies including as Chairman of the Curriculum Advisory Panel for the Global Open Agricultural and Food University of the CGIAR systems in 2005 and the Council of the UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSITY jointly appointed by the Sec, Gen of the UN and the Director General of UNESCO for a period of six years starting 2010. Dhanarajan was the Secretary General of the Asian Association of Open Universities between 1991 and 94, a member of the Executive Board of the International Council for Distance Education (ICDE) in 1988-90. He was a two term council member of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency, and for a period was member of the lifelong learning advisory group of the Government of Malaysia.
Dhanarajan is a recipient of honorary doctorates in a number of universities across the world. In 2008, the Government of Malaysia conferred on Dhanarajan the countries highest civilian award, which carries the title of TAN SRI.