India Empire NRI Awards 2011
A Recognition of Excellence, Purpose and Achievement in the Overseas Indian Community
INDIA EMPIRE Publications completed 5 years of publication in September 2009.The monthly recognizes the worth of the Indian diaspora and talks about its issues, achievements, and concerns. It reaches out to a select Indian audience that is interested in the diaspora and also reaches out to the diaspora itself.
The magazine has been able to connect with the Indian diaspora in USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Caribbean (Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana), South Africa, Reunion Islands, Mauritius, Malaysia, Singapore, Middle East. It has carried interviews with political stalwarts like Anerood Jugnauth (President, Mauritius), Navinchandra Ramgoolam (Prime Minister, Mauritius), Bharrat Jagdeo (President, Guyana), Lenny Saith (Acting Prime Minister and Minister in Trinidad and Tobago) and a host of other political personalities, Mayors, Governors, and Ministers in countries such as Malaysia, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, USA, New Zealand. It has profiled and interviewed leading members of the Indian business community from all over the world, including mostly from countries such as USA and U.K. It has written on leading Indian members of the entertainment industry worldwide.
Through its reach and presence it is able to position itself as a premier product in its segment, and has been aptly recognized by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, India and such world bodies like the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO). The magazine works very closely with embassies and high commissions that represent countries with a high percentage of Indian diaspora population.
INDIA EMPIRE Publications is also in the business of printing and designing layouts for books and journals. It has done several turnkey projects for diplomatic missions in India as well as printed and designed books on travel and emigration of indentured workers. More recently, it has been tasked to bring out YATRA, a bi-monthly publication of the Indian High Commission in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
The group’s vision is to ensure that its flagship publication, INDIA EMPIRE, becomes a very relevant magazine for the 25 million Indian diaspora residing in over 100 countries.
INDIA EMPIRE is edited and published by Sayantan Chakravarty who has worked as an investigative journalist with INDIA TODAY magazine for eight years, with INDIAN EXPRESS newspapers for six years, and been in the corporate world for four years. He has also been a Media Adviser to a Cabinet Minister for two years, and is presently a co-chair of GOPIO’s Media Council.
Why NRI Awards?
The Indian Diaspora, about 25 million strong, is full of achievement and talent. The talent and achievement are to be found in every walk, in practically every corner of the globe. It is to honour this wealth of talent, and, thereby, help make India’s engagement with its diaspora more meaningful, that the NRI Awards have been instituted by INDIA EMPIRE publications. The group’s flagship, INDIA EMPIRE, a monthly magazine, has completed over four years in business. It is focused on bringing in stories and issues on NRIs and PIOs for the Indian audience.
The publication believes that it is the right time that the Indian diaspora is recognized by way of Awards through a free, frank and fearless medium, independent of the Government. The National Press Club of India (with over 30 affiliate organizations) has been chosen to be Media Partners for the event and will play a key role in shaping opinion and credibility of the awards. We plan to institutionalize the awards.
Objective of the NRI Awards
To recognize the wealth of Indian talent overseas, to make the awards World Class, institutionalize them, and to ensure that the awards functions are held every year after the conclusion of the Government-organized Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, i.e. on the 10th of January.
Criteria to choose awardees for the NRI Awards
Strictly on merit and reputation. The nominations will be vetted by top NRI associations in different countries and the Indian Media.
Who is eligible for the NRI Awards?
Any person who qualifies as a Non-Resident Indian or a Person of Indian Origin and / or is an Overseas Citizen of India.
Who will attend?
Three hundred people will be in attendance. The near majority will be members of India’s diaspora. Besides, there will be select representation from embassies, industry and chambers and Media.
2011 AWARDEES - CITATIONS IN ORDER
Mr Anirudh Suri
Mr Anirudh Suri is a graduate student at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as well as the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. In 2009, he became a founder member of the organization called Global Young Indian Professionals and Students (GYIPS). The aim of GYIPS is to connect Young Overseas Indians with India in a manner that allows them to play an effective role in Governance through internships and fellowship programmes of the Indian Government. Many of GYIPS’ over 1,100 members are alumni of reputed institutions like Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Wharton, London School of Economics, the IITs and the IIMs. Out of hundreds of other overseas Indian bodies, the Government of India has quickly realized the worth of GYIPS in order to reach out to the young Indian diaspora and recently GYIPS was partnered by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in a prestigious Link Seminar to PBD 2011.
Mrs Anjum Amirtham and Mr Arun Amirtham
Mrs Anjum Amirtham and Mr Arun Amirtham from Switzerland have become the perfect Cultural Ambassadors for India. For three years in a row, starting in 2008, they have conducted the INDIA INDIA Festival in Zurich. Last year over 250,000 people visited the festival from different parts of Europe. The novelty of the festival is that it is held at the Zurich central station which is well connected to every major European capital city. People can get off at the station and easily walk into the sound and colours of Indian classical and folk dance, the beats of Bollywood, the fragrance of delicate Indian cuisine, the drapes of colourful and exquisite textiles and the taste of munchy savouries. The couple has already started work on India India 2011 in order to take it to the next level and remind us of the days of Festival of India in Europe.
Mr Ashok K Gupta
Mr Ashok K Gupta is the Chief Executive of Bank of Baroda, GCC Operations. This means he heads the bank’s growth and expansion plans for six nations---i.e. UAE, where he is based, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Prior to his present posting, he was the Deputy Head of the International Operations of the Bank and was instrumental in expanding Bank of Baroda in 10 countries. To his credit, in the last 3.5 years, the Bank’s customer base has increased from 50,000 to 200,000, its business has increased 4.5 times and the number of offices has doubled. He has been supportive of a very large number of Indian corporate / small and medium enterprises to establish their businesses in the UAE. This has helped in increasing bilateral trade. In 2010, a business weekly ranked him 40th in a list of 100 powerful NRIs in the Gulf who have influenced society in the Gulf and Middle Eastern Countries.
Dr Rajindre Tewari
Dr Rajindre Tewari is head of the Holland chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO). In that capacity he has played a crucial role in the successful organization of the first Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in Europe that was held at The Hague, Holland. The GOPIO was a main organizer of the event and partnered the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in bringing in 700 people from all across Europe to attend the convention. The event was attended by leading Overseas Indian figures in Europe and the City of Hague was a partner at the event. He has also successfully developed financial projects that are helping bridge relations between the estimated 200,000 Indo-Surinamese population in Holland and India. His forefathers emigrated to what was then Dutch Guyana (present day Suriname) and later his family migrated to Holland.
Mr Umesh Chandra
Mr Umesh Chandra has acted as a bridge between Indian students who’ve gone to study in Australia and the local Australian population. On behalf of Multicultural Affairs Queensland, he has been trying to sensitize both sides effectively in order to prevent racial acts that were a feature in Australia throughout 2009 and 2010. Since his appointment, Umesh Chandra has successfully handled several cases of Indian students who may have been treated unfairly. He has been instrumental in organizing several safety seminars together with the Queensland Police Service for the benefit of Indian students, a much needed community effort that has built confidence among the Indian student community.
Dr Priyamvada Natarajan
Dr Priyamvada Natarajan has played a stellar role in astrophysics, and is one of the world’s leading scientists in that field. As a professor at the departments of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University, she works on understanding and explaining how black holes in space grow and evolve. She is currently on a Guggenheim Fellowship. Last year she was a JILA Fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She will be wrapping up the academic year in May-June 2011 with a fellowship at the Rockfeller Bellagio Centre. As an undergraduate, she won a rare scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She subsequently went to Cambridge University to pursue her doctorate in theoretical astrophysics. She was the recipient of India Abroad Foundation’s Face of the Future Award in 2009.
Professor Lael Anson Best
Professor Lael Anson Best, a Mumbai-born OCI card holder, is the Chief at the Department of Thoracic Surgery as well as the Chief of Surgery at the famous Rambam Health Care Campus at Haifa, Israel, one of the best institutions in the world. One of his referants for the Award is Noble Prize winner, Professor Aaron Ciechanover. Professor Best is the recipient of numerous distinctions and recognitions, including the Outstanding Award for Excellence for First Place in Government Service Commission in the State of Israel presented by the Prime Minister of Israel in 2001, and the Noah Moses Prize presented by the President of Israel, also in 2001.
Mr Suraj Sadan
Mr Suraj Sadan has promoted Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of Peace through art. At a time when the world is beset with terrorism and ethnic conflicts, he is doing his bid to bring harmony. In 2006, Mr Sadan set up the Mahatma Gandhi International Foundation, a not-for-profit institution, in Montreal, Canada. Mr Sadan’s mission is encourage younger generations to become familiar with the work of Gandhi. The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has recognized his efforts and has provided him space to display his paintings at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, year after year----the only one in his profession who has been permitted thus.
Dr R. Sri Ram
Dr R. Sri Ram, London-based, set up The Wings of Hope Children’s Charity recently. But it has been able to quickly make a difference to the lives of poor children and their families who are in a debt trap. The charity helps out by providing free of cost education to those who have the least access to it. The Wings of Hope supports a school in Nemilicherry in Chennai. The school offers quality education to around 360 children, from kindergarten to Class 10. There are 12 classes, with an average size of 30 children per class. The school has a staff of 17 teachers. In Malawi in Africa, The Wings of Hope funds the House of Hope, which offers support to almost 600 children and young adults from the ages of 3 to 20 who have been orphaned because their parents have died of AIDS.
Dr Surujrattan Rambachan
Dr Surujrattan Rambachan is Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. He is a member of the coalition Government led by the first Indian origin woman Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. He has been a community leader since the 1960s. In 1969, Diwali was celebrated at the University of West Indies campus for the very time. It was a time when racial tensions ran high in his country. In the 1980s, he remained his country’s ambassador to four Latin American countries, including Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. In the 1990s, he became a Minister of Tourism. In the 21st century he became a Mayor for six years. As Mayor he developed Shanti Tiram, The Shore of Peace, a pilgrimage site where both Hindus and non-Hindus are burnt by the pyre method. He was worked tirelessly for the cause of disabled, orphaned and abused children.
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