The Hindu's consultant V. Kalidas was conferred the ‘Hall of Fame' National Award for 2011 for his contribution to the media industry by Punjab Education Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan at a function here on Thursday.

The awards were given to 10 other public relations professionals on the opening day of the two-day fifth edition of the Global PR Conclave, organised by the Public Relations Council of India (PRCI) here.

The other awardees are: Pragnya Ram (Aditya Birla Management Corporation Limited); S. Ramesh Krishnan (Maruti Suzuki); Deepak Jolly (Coca Cola); Renuka B. Salwan (Bureau of Indian Standards); Jayaprakash Rao K. (Regional PRO, DRDO, Bangalore); B.K. Usha Didi (Brahmkumaris, Mount Abu); K.S. Narahari (Texas Instruments Limited); C.K. Sardana; Ujjwal Chowdhury (ISB&M School of Communication); and Romesh Kumar Mattoo (Suzlon Energy Limited).

Mr. Kalidas has been associated with The Hindu group for the past 45 years. He was nominated mediaperson of the year in October 1994 by a Mumbai-based body of media professionals. He has also been associated with the Advertising Clubs and PRSI Chapters in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai.

Mr. Sekhwan also presented the annual Chanakya Awards to leading professionals and organisations for their contribution to the field of communication.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said it was unfortunate that the true importance of public relations was least understood by the “top bosses” who never realised the true potential of the PR professional. He said that rulers like Akbar used to get regular feedback from the people. He described Guru Gobind Singh and Mahatma Gandhi as great communicators. A PR professional, as a communicator, could change the course of history and even create new history. “The PR professional should update his skills, acquire new technologies, and must meet change in a way people affected by it can adopt it,” he said.

About 150 communication practitioners are participating in the meet.