Agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan has been conferred the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award for his “outstanding leadership in the field of agriculture that has contributed to ensuring food security for millions of Indians.”

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee presented the award to Dr. Swaminathan at a function in New Delhi. Dr. Swaminathan, a statement from CNN-IBN noted, has “worked consistently towards the actualisation of his dream of a hunger-free world with the help of his innovative concepts of sustainable development, especially with eco-friendly techniques of agriculture, food availability, and biodiversity conservation.”

“Encourage science”

On receiving the award, Dr. Swaminathan said: “Our country should encourage science as that alone would help us prosper. As we all know, land and water are diminishing resources, so we should all make maximum utilisation of the available agricultural lands.”

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was chosen as the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year, for “changing the vocabulary of politics, putting development on centre stage and triggering hope amongst millions.”

In his message, Mr. Kumar said: “This is a huge responsibility on my weak shoulders. There are other people who deserve this award more. I am a humble political worker dedicated to the service of Bihar. I am speechless. This award adds to my responsibility.”

Wrestler Sushil Kumar was chosen in the Sports category, industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla (business), film director Shankar (entertainment) and the Ladakh Ecological Development Group & SEEDS India (public service category).

Special Achievement awards

Special Achievement awards went to the Shillong Chamber Choir and the Indian Women's Relay Team of Manjeet Kaur, Sini Jose, Ashwini Akkunji, Mandeep Kaur.

J. Gopikrishnan, journalist, who was instrumental in exposing the 2G spectrum scam, was honoured with the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2010 – Special Achievement Award.

'Earnest effort'

Speaking on the occasion, Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, CNN-IBN, IBN7 & IBN-Lokmat, said, “CNN-IBN Indian of the Year is our earnest effort to pay gratitude to all those exceptional individuals across different categories whose extraordinary efforts have brought pride and honour to our nation.”

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