Manipal Group honours eminent personalities for distinguished services


Press Release, Jan 15, 2022, 3:21 PM IST

Udupi: Four eminent personalities from the field of medical education, healthcare, business administration, arts and culture were awarded with New Year Awards 2022 by Academy of General Education (AGE), Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), MEMG and Manipal Media Network Ltd for their remarkable contribution to the society.

The winners of this year were Bhaskar Bhat, director-TATA Sons Pvt Ltd, for his contribution in the field of business administration, Dr Suresh S Rao, medical director-Sanjeevani Hospital, Mumbai, for contribution in healthcare, Dr Pragna Rao, pro vice-chancellor, MAHE, Bengaluru campus for her role in the field of education and Gopal Acharya Thirthahalli, renowned Yakshagana artiste from Kergal, Kundapur for contributions to arts and culture.

The welcome address for the ceremony was made by Dr H S Ballal, pro-chancellor & president, Academy of General Education, MAHE. Lt Gen (Dr) M D Venkatesh, vice chancellor MAHE gave the felicitation address.

The felicitation of four awardees was done by Dr Ranjan Pai, chairman, MEMG Group and registrar, Academy of General Education, along with Dr HS Ballal, Vasanti R Pai, trustee, MAHE Trust, T Satish U Pai, MD, Manipal Media Network Ltd and vice president, Academy of General Education (AGE), and Dr Narayana Sabhahit, registrar MAHE.

New Year Awards were begun in the year 1941 by the late Dr TMA Pai, visionary of modern Manipal. From 1941 to 2022 every year the awards are presented to eminent personalities. More than 200 personalities have received this prestigious awards in past 81 years. The recipients includes Dr K Shivaram Karanth, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya, Sri SriVishwesha Theertha Swamjii, Oscar Fernandes and many more eminent personalities of twin districts. The awards are presented as a token of warm tribute to and in deep appreciation of the distinguished work and achievement by each recipient in his/her field of specialization and in happy recognition of the fact that he/she has ‘dignified society’, thus exemplifying the ideal of enlightened life.

Speaking about the awards and the achievements of the eminent personalities Dr H S Ballal said, “We are extremely proud and honoured to be hosting this event to award these very well-deserving members of the society. Their contributions to the nation have been remarkable. I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to them for their dedication and spirit that drives them to make the society we live in, a better place. Keeping in line with the tradition established by our founder the late Dr TMA Pai, we are extremely privileged to be honouring such service minded individuals through the New Year Awards 2022.”

Speaking on the special occasion, Gen (Dr) MD Venkatesh said, “We feel elated to be conducting this award ceremony to honour these four individuals who have achieved exceptional stature in fields ranging from business administration, medical education, art and culture to healthcare and philanthropy. We are extremely honoured by their acceptance of this award. Their noteworthy contributions in their respective fields show the zeal and determination of the human spirit. They have set such a great example for all of us to learn, imbibe and make our own contributions to society. I congratulate them all.”

Expressing his happiness Bhaskar Bhat said, “As I accept this recognition from an institution as renowned and respected as the Academy of General Education, I must admit that I am filled with a sense of both pride and disbelief. As the nation battles the pandemic, I am in awe of the unity that people have shown to support each other through these terrible times. With rigorous vaccination drives the situation has improved. Our economy has done quite well as witnessed by the performance of the stock market, the tax collections and new money that is flowing into start-ups. It is a great time to be in this country of ours with a large aspiring population, a talented workforce, democratic institutions, our wonderful diversity and a ‘can do’ attitude amongst the younger lot in this country.”

Receiving the award Dr Pragna Rao said, “Being recognized and nominated for the Academy of General Education’s New Year’s Award is a tremendous honour and I express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the Academy of General Education, MAHE, MEMG and the Manipal Media Network. This award assumes even greater significance to me as it was initiated by the Late, Dr TMA Pai who was keen on establishing facilities for higher education at rural areas through the Academy of General Education. My association with Manipal began in 1984 when I joined the Department of Biochemistry as a Post-Graduate student. Now as the Pro Vice Chancellor of the new MAHE Bengaluru campus, I would like to thank this prestigious institute for being an extremely inclusive workplace for women. This just shows Manipal holds equality as sacrosanct to its core values. Manipal institutions have been creators of knowledge, have actively recognized and nurtured talent.”

An elated Gopal Acharya Thirthahalli said, “I am extremely grateful to be receiving this award. Being recognised for the art of Yakshagana fills my heart with joy. The people from the Udupi and Dakshina Kannada district have also excelled in education, medical and cultural fields and it gives me great pride to hail from this place. Yakshagana is a symbol of Karnataka and I hope the future generation will also contribute to promoting and saving this art form. State government should consider Yakshagana as the state art form.”

Dr Suresh S Rao, expressing his joy said, “I feel overwhelmed by a deep sense of gratitude on receiving The New Year Award. Having spent my childhood in Kateel, I have a deep affection for my village and my reverence to the Goddess of the temple knows no bounds. Once I graduated to become a doctor, I realized what my heart deeply wished and that was to serve my village and the society in some way. With determination and courage, I dared to dream of running a hospital. I have been associated with MAHE and KMC Mangaluru since 2015 and it has been the most rewarding experience. For me, I had received my award the day Manipal group accepted my proposal to take over the hospital. The members of this institution have provided constant support for me and helped me realise my dream.”

Dr Nivedita Prabhu, professor MCHP compered the programme. Narayan Shetty, principal, Bhandarkar’s College Kundapur, rendered the vote of thanks.

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