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Actor Madhav Sharma among recipients of inaugural Dadabhai Naoroji awards

Madhav Sharma
Madhav Sharma
Actor Madhav Sharma, who has worked in a variety of Indo-British roles over the past 50 years, is among the three winners of the inaugural Dadabhai Naoroji Awards bestowed by the British government for services to UK-India relations.
 
While Sharma was given the award in the culture category, Asha Khemka, principal of Vision West Nottinghamshire College, will receive the award for education and Patricia Hewitt, chair of the UK-India Business Concil will receive the award for commerce.
 
The winners were announced by UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg here yesterday and presented at a Foreign and Commonwealth Office reception for the British Indian diaspora, attended by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
 
The awards were judged by ministers following nominations from the public in the three categories.
 
Sharma has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, in West End shows, in TV in shows such as Coronation Street and in films such as ‘East is East’. His current show, ‘Bharat, Blighty & the Bard’ has recently toured a number of cities in India and he is an advocate of the closeness of cultural ties between the UK and India.
 
The other shortlisted candidate in the category was Nitin Sawhney, the celebrated musician, composer, DJ and writer.
 
Khemka is the founding Chair of the Association of Colleges India and member of the Indo-British Trade Council. She has established several partnerships between UK colleges and Indian education providers, and strategic alliances between the UK and key Indian bodies, including the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. She plays an active role in promoting UK-India ties in a range of areas, including trade and equality.
 
The other short-listed candidate in the category was Prof Sunil Khilnani, who established the India Institute at King’s College London, which is one of the foremost concentrations of India (and South Asia) research and teaching capability.
 
Hewitt was given the award for her contribution in establishing UK-India Business Centres in major Indian cities, and for her support of small and medium, as well as larger enterprises which set up in India. She was an important player in the creation of the first UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committee, and remains an active advocate for UK-India relations.
 
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Other shortlisted nominees for the commerce award included Uday Dholakia (Chair of the Indo-British Trade Council) and the hotelier and restaurateur Lord Diljit Singh Rana.
 
"As advocates of UK-India relations, their work continues in the same spirit as that of Dadabhai Naoroji, helping our two great nations work together to achieve fairness, mutual understanding and economic prosperity," Mr Clegg said.
 
"The awards remind us that our relationship with India is one which we must continue to foster, and one from which both our nations have a great deal to gain," he said.
 
The institution of the awards was announced by Mr Clegg during his trade mission to New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore in August.
 
The awards are dedicated to Dadabhai Naoroji, the first Asian Member of the British Parliament and the man who brought the first Indian business to the UK. The fact that the awards are in his name pays tribute to his commitment to the Indian people and his key role in historical events.
 
The awards themselves were designed by Andrew Vickers, a prominent stone sculptor from the north of England who creates abstract and figurative sculptures in a variety of stone. He took inspiration from the striking image of Naoroji, whose figure he has set upon a stone block.
 
More than 80 nominations for the awards were received from members of the public. After a shortlisting process, agreed by a ministerial panel comprising David Laws, Hugo Swire, Lord Livingston, Greg Clarke and Ed Vaizey, Mr Clegg selected the winner for each category.
 
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