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Home > News > Report

Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards embroiled in controversy

Vicky Nanjappa in New Delhi | January 10, 2008 22:51 IST

A day after the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2008 concluded, some organisations demanded that a probe be held into the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards. President Pratibha Patil [Images] had conferred this prestigious award to 11 people at the Vigyan Bhavan on Wednesday.

The Prayer and Peace circle, India Heritage Panel, Society of Community Journalists and International Trade Front have alleged nepotism in the selection of the awardees. They have also complained to the Prime Minister, President and the Chief Justice of India among others in this regard.

In their complaint, they have alleged that official guidelines were not completely followed and Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the flagship event of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, had its share of favouritism.

The complainants said that they will inspect documents, records and will also access information through the Right to Information Act to find out the basis on which the awardees were decided.

They said that Indo-American leader, Rajan Zed, who was the first person to read a prayer from the ancient Sanskrit scriptures in the United States Senate on July 12, 2007, should have been conferred with the prestigious award.