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Pravasi Bharatiya award for Kalpana Chawla

By Pankaj Upadhyaya in Delhi
Last updated on: January 08, 2004 19:35 IST
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The Government of India on Thursday awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (award) to astronaut Kalpana Chawla and eleven other Non Resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin.

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Chawla was killed when space shuttle Columbia exploded over Texas at on February 1, 2003. Six other astronauts on board were killed. Chawla was the Columbia's space engineer and it was her second voyage into space.

Other who have been selected for the award are:

  • Ahmed Moosa Ebrahim, former chief of Zimbabwe Cricket Union
  • Bharrat Jagdeo, President of Guyana
  • Prof Deepak Jain, Dean, Kellog's Business School, North Western University, Chicago
  • Fitz Remedios Santana De Souza, former deputy speaker from Kenya
  • Mahendra Pal Chaudhuri, former prime minister of Fiji
  • Mariam Chisti from Kuwait
  • Lord Meghnath Desai from the United Kingdom
  • Narender Singh Kapany from the US
  • P Mohammed Ali from Oman
  • Shashi Tharoor, United Nations Under-Secretary General for Communications
  • Sukhi Turner, wife of former New Zealand cricketer Glenn Turner

The names were announced by J C Sharma, secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, on Thursday at a press conference in Delhi.

The awards will be presented by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday after the inauguration of the three-day second Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. The award comprises a gold medal and a citation.

Sharma said over 100 names were considered for the award by a committee headed by Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. He said over 1500 delegates have already registered for various Pravasi Divas programmes.

"We are expecting the number to go up by morning tomorrow. As of now we have over 60 countries represented. This number too may go up," he said.

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Pankaj Upadhyaya in Delhi