By Irfan Mohammed
Jeddah: Japanese-based Telangana NRI scientist was among the 30 NRIs including three from the Gulf who were conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award on Saturday.
The award is the highest honour conferred by the President of India as part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Conventions on a Non-Resident Indian (NRI), Person of Indian Origin (PIO), and organization or institution established and run by NRIs or PIOs.
Besides a known Telugu doctor in the USA, Sudhakar Jonnalagadda of Andhra Pradesh, Saudi-based entrepreneur Siddeek Ahmed and a known community worker and ENT doctor in Qatar, Mohan Thomas and Bahrain businessman K.G. Baburajan – all three Malayalis – were among others awarded the highest honour of NRIs.
The theme of the 16th PBD Convention 2021 was “Contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat”. President Ram Nath Kovind digitally handed out the awards in a virtual ceremony in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Muralidhar Miryala, who graduated from Jadcherla degree college in Mahbubnagar and hailing from Karvena village of Atmakur Mandal in the district was an alumni of Osmania University in Hyderabad where he did M.Sc and Ph.D. prior to moving to Japan. He is deputy president of Shibaura Institute of Technology in Japan.
Considered as one of the best scientists of high-performance High Temperature Superconductors cable wires in the world, the wires being used in high-speed rail transport systems where Japan has a proven record in the globe. India and several other developing nations have strategic partnership with Japan in high-speed rail technology. The Indian Embassy in Tokyo has a special wing to look after railway technology matters with Japan.
Earlier also, he was awarded as Best Researcher by Japan government’s Railway Technical Research Institute.
Miryala was honoured by India for his outstanding contribution in the field of science and technology and promoting the honour and prestige of India abroad.
“I am extremely happy to attain this recognition which was previously achieved by such prominent figures such as Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft), President S R Nathan (Singapore’s Former President), etc.“, he said in a social media post.
Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, native of Guntur district who is settled in Georgia in USA was also conferred the award.
Sudhakar, who is well connected with back home in Andhra Pradesh, where he is involved in health care projects in rural areas. A well-known among Telugu NRIs, Sudhakar is president of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), that has membership of 60,000 physicians as active members. AAPI represents over 100,000 Physicians, Fellows and Academicians of Indian Origin. Known as Dr. S Jonna locally, he practices Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology in Douglas.
Saudi based NRI, Siddeek Ahmed is CEO of Al Khobar based Eram Group that has business interests across the region and India. His innovative ‘e-Toilet’ which is an automated public sanitation solution in line with Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan was duly showcased in the UN Innovation exhibition. Siddeek Ahmed was awarded the Toilet Titan award by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015.
Bahrain based Babu Rajan, who was involved in construction of 25-kilometer-long King Fahad Causeway that connects Saudi Arabia and Bahrain is only Indian member in the US based international Accreditation Service, that accredits calibration and testing laboratories worldwide.
Qatar NRI, Dr. Mohan Thomas Pakalomattom, is the first ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat)-specialist in the country. He is a popular community leader holding some key positions and also as a patron of several socio-cultural associations. Chairing the church construction committee, he is also seen to be instrumental in securing the land grant and the permission to build the Indian Church in Qatar.