NEW DELHI: Eleven Overseas Indians were recognized for their distinguished contributions at the 2nd INDIA EMPIRE NRI AWARDS Night at The Ramada Plaza on Monday, January 10, 2011. Those recognized are:

Mr Anirudh Suri (Most Promising Overseas Young Indian) from the USA, Mrs Anjum Amirtham and Mr Arun Amirtham (Cultural Leadership in European Region) from Switzerland, Mr Ashok Gupta from the UAE (Business Leadership in the Gulf Region), Drs Rajindre Tewari (Community Leadership in European Region), Mr Umesh Chandra from Australia (Community Leadership in the Asia-Pacific Region), Dr Priyamvada Natarajan from the USA (Excellence in Sciences), Professor Lael Anson Best from Israel (Excellence in Medical Sciences), Mr Suraj Sadan from Canada (Promotion of Peace Through Art), Dr R. Sri Ram from U.K. (Excellence in Philanthropy), Dr Surujrattan Rambachan from Trinidad and Tobago (Community Leadership in the Caribbean Region).

The awards were presented by Minister of State for Corporate Affairs, Mr Salman Khurshid, the grandson of India’s third President, Dr Zakir Hussain. He said that he felt proud to be in the midst of the distinguished awardees and other overseas Indians. In an eloquent speech, he reflected on the growing image of India, and the great role that the Indian diaspora had to play in shaping this image. Mr Khurshid mentioned that while it was true that India needed the diaspora to share its wealth with India, it was also true that India needed “the mind” of the diaspora more, implying that the wealth of experience and knowledge was also very important and crucial to India’s march forward.

The Editor and Publisher of INDIA EMPIRE Mr Sayantan Chakravarty spoke about the growing clout of the diaspora, and India’s serious engagement policies with the 25 million strong Overseas Indians. He mentioned that it was a challenge for the Government to deal with the expectations of two different diasporas----one comprising the newer immigrants, and the other being the descendants of indentured workers that migrated 100-170 years ago. He said the expectations of these two diaspora groups were markedly different. While one was looking to invest intellectually and economically, the other was looking to invest emotionally and keep its culture and roots intact over generations.

He said that the magazine was committed to recognize the wealth of talent among overseas Indians, and the excellence, purpose and achievement that was visible within this community.