ORS (Oral rehydration therapy) pioneer Dr. Dilip Mahalanabis, acclaimed architect Balakrishna Doshi, ace mathematician S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan, tabla exponent Ustad Zakir Husain have been honoured with the prestigious Padma Vibhushan, the country's second-highest civilian award.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party founding patriarch and former Uttar Pradesh chief Minister who passed away last year and S. M Krishna, former Karnataka Chief Minister, were also honoured with the award in recognition of their contribution to public.
Dr. Dilip Mahalanabis
Dr Mahalanabis, who passed away in October 2022, pioneered the proper practical, emergency use of oral rehydration solution, commonly known by its abbreviation “ORS,” for diarrhoeal diseases.
Mahalanabis was born on 12 November 1934 in East Bengal (now Bangladesh). He studied medicine and specialised in paediatrics in Calcutta (now Kolkata) before continuing his academic journey in the United Kingdom (Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children, London) and United States (Johns Hopkins University).
His work with Johns Hopkins researchers continued back home in Calcutta, India, and it pertained to ORT for diarrhoeal diseases.
This early work became a cornerstone of public health over the next couple of decades, saving children’s lives through the use of 500 million ORS packs annually in over 60 developing countries.
Mahalanabis founded the research organisation Society for Applied Studies (SAS) in West Bengal in 1990. With a vision of better health and quality of life, especially for women and children, the institution later expanded to include the New Delhi-based Centre for Health Research and Development, Society for Applied Studies (CHRD-SAS).
Prior to establishing SAS, Dr Mahalanabis worked on the World Health Organization’s Diarrheal Disease Control Programme and thereafter served as the Director of Clinical Research at Bangladesh-based International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research.
Balakrishna V Doshi
Balkrishna Doshi, one of the most prominent Indian minds in the world of architecture, passed away on January 24 at the age of 95, just a day before the announcement on honouring him with the country's second highest civilian honour
With his legacy of design and practice spanning seven decades and more than 100 projects, he was known for his pioneering work in low-cost housing, institutional and public buildings.
Doshi became one of the most influential architects of India, creating a language of modern design principles while respecting the depth of local culture and traditions.
He was the first Indian architect to receive the Pritzker Award, the highest honour in architecture for his distinguished career in architecture, in the year 2018.
S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan
S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan, an Indian American mathematician, is widely feted for his work in probability theory, especially his work on large deviations from expected random behavior, which has revolutionized this field of study and become a cornerstone of both pure and applied probability.
The mathematical insights he developed have been applied in diverse fields including quantum field theory, population dynamics, finance, econometrics, and traffic engineering.
In the year 2007, Vardhan became the first Asian to win the Abel Prize.
He is also the recipient of the National Medal of Science, the highest honour bestowed by the United States government on scientists, engineers and inventors".
Ustad Zakir Hussain
Widely recognised as one of India's greatest Tabla Maestro, Ustad Zakir Hussain has collaborated with many talented musicians not just in India but also across the world.
Son of Ustad Allah Rakha Khan, himself a well-known Indian tabla player, Hussain, over the years, has accompanied some of the greatest Indian musicians and collaborated with such diverse performers as the London String Quartet and Van Morrison.
Along with guitarist John McLaughlin, Hussain led the formation of Shakti, a musical group that also included noted Indian violinist L. Shankar.
His 1992 album with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, Planet Drum, earned a Grammy Award.
In 1991, he was awarded the Sangeer Natak Akademi by India's preeminent cultural institute. Hussain has also been recipient of Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awards.
S. M Krishna
A veteran politician from Karnataka, S.M Krishna, served as the state's chief minister between 1999 and 2004.
Krishna, who hails from the politically dominant Vokkaliga community, studied post graduation in law in the U.S. He was also a recipient of Fulbright Scholarship.
The 90-year-old leader, who also served as the country's External Affairs Minister under Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, severed his nearly five-decade association with the Congress and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2017.
During his term as CM, Krishna was praised for his proactive role in pushing Bangalore into the league of fast-paced, globalised cities, and in fostering the growth areas of information technology and biotechnology.
Mulayam Singh Yadav
Founder of Samajwadi party, Mulayam Singh Yadav, who passed away last year, served thrice as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. He also served as the Union Defence Minister in United Front Government between 1996 and 1997.
Yadav, who began his politics under the tutelage of Chaudhary Charan Singh, symbolised the irreversible ascent of the OBCs in the politics of Uttar Pradesh.
A consummate political operator, Yadav maintained good equation across the political spectrum.
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