New Delhi: Eminent Agricultural Scientist Dr M S Swaminathan and well-known social worker, Dr. Gutta Muniratnam were respectively chosen as the first recipients of ‘Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Award for Excellence’ and ‘Muppavarapu National Award for Social Service’’.
The National Award for Excellence was instituted by the Muppavarapu Foundation, while the one for Social Service was launched by the Swarna Bharat Trust, in Hyderabad.
Prof. M.S. Swaminathan was awarded for his distinguished contributions to the field of agriculture while Dr G Muniratnam, was awarded for his extraordinary contribution in improving quality of people’s lives through social service.
A plant geneticist by training, Professor Swaminathan’s contributions to the agricultural renaissance of India have led to his being widely referred to as the scientific leader of the green revolution movement.
Dr Muniratnam is Founder Secretary of Tirupati -based Rashtriya Seva Samiti and an exemplary social worker. He dedicated his life to the cause of transforming rural India by empowering people.
The announcement on the awards was made during the 10th Anniversary Celebrations of Muppavarapu Foundation and Sankranthi Sambaralu organized in Hyderabad today.
Dr Swaminathan could not attend the function, while Dr. Muniratnam was present and received the award from the Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu.
Each award carries a cash prize of Rupees Five Lakh and citation.
Addressing the gathering, the Vice President said that respecting and recognizing talent and knowledge was inherent to Indian culture. He said awards were meant to inspire others to emulate the awardees.
Referring to the importance of mother tongue in the promotion of culture and traditions, Naidu wanted the medium of instruction up to the primary school to be in the mother tongue.
Naidu said that festivals like Makara Sankranti were occasions to rekindle people’s association with nature and its relationship with Indian culture. Naidu said that it was also the time to remember and pay respects to elders.
The Governor of Telangana, Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Bandaru Dattatreya, the acting Chief Justice of Telangana High Court, Raghavendra Singh Chauhan, the Minister of State for Home Affairs Government of India, G Kishan Reddy and the Minister for Tourism and Culture and Archaeology, Govt of Telangana Virusanolla Srinivas Goud were present on stage.
Several other prominent people from different walks of life including Telugu film actors Venkatesh, Mahesh Babu and film director, Raghavendra Rao were among those present.
The Spouse of the Vice President, Ushamma, the Managing Trustee, Muppavarapu Foundation, Harshavardhan, and the Managing Trustee, Swarna Bharat Trust, Deepa Venkat were also present.