The Ministry of Overseas Indians has announced the names of 15 'outstanding' Indians who would be honoured with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas beginning in Mumbai on Friday.
The awards have been instituted to recognise and reward meritorious contributions by non-resident Indians and people of Indian origin to further India's interests and causes.
Minister of State for Overseas Indian Affairs Jagdish Tytler announced the names of the awardees in New Delhi. They are:
M Arunachalam (Hong Kong) and Sh Yusuffali M A (United Arab Emirates) in the field of business; Amina Cachalia (South Africa), Sir (Dr) J K Chande (Tanzania), Ahmed Kathrada (South Africa) and Basdeo Pandey (Trinidad & Tobago) in the field of public affairs; Professor Alokeranjan Dasgupta (Germany) and Vikram Seth (United Kingdom) for literature; Professor Sunil Khilnani (United States of America) and Lord Bhikhu Chhotalal Parekh (UK) for political studies and science; Professor Jagdish Bhagwati (USA) for economics; Sam Pitroda (USA) for technology; Manoj Night Shyamalan (USA) for cinema; Vijay Singh (Fiji) for sports and Sant Singh Virmani (Philippines) for agriculture science.
President A P J Abdul Kalam will give away the awards on Sunday.
A jury-cum-awards committee, chaired by Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Tytler, selected the awardees.
The Hindu Editor-in-Chief N Ram and former vice-chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University Professor G S Randhawa were among the members of the committee.
Some of the leading personalities of the Diaspora who have confirmed participation in the PBD are Malaysian minister Dato' Seri Samy Vellu, Singaporean minister Shanmugaratnam, Lord Dholakia, Sam Pitroda, United Nations Under Secretary Shashi Tharoor, Raghuraman Rajan and Vijay Amritraj.
The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is being jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.