KERALA

G. Madhavan Nair gets A.K. Nair award

Honour: Indian Space Research Organisation chairman G. Madhavan Nair being given the A.K. Nair Memorial Award by Leela Group of hotels chairman C.P. Krishnan Nair at a function in Kannur on Sunday.

Honour: Indian Space Research Organisation chairman G. Madhavan Nair being given the A.K. Nair Memorial Award by Leela Group of hotels chairman C.P. Krishnan Nair at a function in Kannur on Sunday.  

Special Correspondent

KANNUR: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman G. Madhavan Nair was presented with the A.K. Nair Memorial Award at a function here on Sunday.

The award, instituted jointly by the A.K. Nair Memorial Endowment Committee and the Malabar Chamber of Commerce (NMCC), was presented to Dr. Madhavan Nair by Capt. C.P. Krishnan Nair, chairman of the Leela Group of hotels and son-in-law of the late A.K. Nair who pioneered the handloom industries here and played important roles in the cultural and educational fields.

The award ceremony was attended by the former United Nations Under Secretary-General and writer Shashi Tharoor, who was the chief guest, and social critic Sukumar Azhikode, among others.

Mr. Tharoor said at the function that Dr. Madhavan Nair had brought a new vision to ISRO. India was one of a handful of countries that had the capacity to launch satellites, he said, adding that Dr. Nair had gone beyond that with the launch of the Chandrayaan-1.

Mr. Tharoor said ISRO and Dr. Nair had acted in a tradition that all Indians could lay claim to. He said the country had a vital legacy of creative and scientific excellence. Recalling the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s contributions to scientific development, Mr. Tharoor said it was Nehru who had built high-quality institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology in the country. Nehru had left India the second largest pool of scientific minds, he said.

Observing that stereotypes about India in the West were fast changing, Mr. Tharoor said the roots of Indian science went far deeper to the ancient non-Western foundations of science.

“We tend to assume that modern science in the country started after British colonialism,” Mr. Tharoor said, adding that Indian science was 5,000 years old.

NMCC president Maheshchandra Baliga presided. A.K. Nair Memorial Endowment Committee chairman Vivek Nair, K.P. Mohanan of Asianet Communications Ltd., NMCC vice-president C. Jayachandran were among those present. Mr. Krishnan Nair presented scholarships to the children of handloom weavers.

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