Chennai:Dr Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister of India, received the first V.C. Padmanabhan Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award from Shri. Pranab Mukherjee, former President of India, in a function held at the Constitution Club of India here. Shri P.J. Kurian, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and Shri V.P. Nandakumar, MD & CEO, Manappuram Finance Ltd. were present at the function.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that the former prime minister had provided stability to India and successfully presided over the country’s finances during troubled times. In his acceptance speech, Dr. Manmohan Singh spoke about India’s gold consumption and said that a large part of demand for gold is due to lack of financial literacy and gaps in spreading financial inclusion. He also mentioned how a money lending and pawn broking business by its founder V.C. Padmanabhan has now adapted to change and transformed itself into one of India’s leading NBFCs under the leadership of V.P. Nandakumar.
The V C Padmanabhan Memorial Awards were instituted in 2010 to commemorate the illustrious founder of the Manappuram Group of companies. They are presented every year to eminent personalities who have made significant contributions in the categories of Arts and Literature, Civil Servant achieving Excellence in Public Administration, Public Representative achieving Excellence in Good Governance, Business Excellence leading to development of Society at large and Ecology and Environment Conservation. A new category “Excellence in Sports and Games” was added in 2018. It is also the first time since inception that an award for Lifetime Achievement was presented.
It is presented annually in recognition of outstanding achievements by eminent personalities in the categories of Arts and Literature, Civil Service, Governance, Business and Ecology and Environment Conservation. A category was added this year for “Excellence in Sports and Games” was added in 2018.
The nominees for the awards were selected by a six member jury, headed by Justice (Retd) M Ramachandran, former Judge, High Court of Kerala. The other members were Shri. V.P. Nandakumar (MD & CEO, Manappuram Finance Ltd.), Shri. T. Balakrishnan, IAS (Retd.), former MD, INKEL Ltd., Shri. T.M. Manoharan, IFS (Retd.), former Chairman, Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. P.V. Krishnan Nair (former Secretary, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy) and Mr. P.K. Vijayakumar, IRS (Retd.), former Insurance Ombudsman for Kerala & Lakshadweep.
Over the years, many eminent people from all walks of life have been recipients of the award. Dr. E. Sreedharan (MD, Delhi Metro) in 2010, Shri. M. Damodaran (former Chairman, SEBI) in 2012, Shri. Vinod Rai (former CAG) in 2013, Shri Amjad Ali Khan and Shri Adoor Gopalakrishnan in 2015, Shri M.T. Vasudevan Nair (2016), Mr. Amitabh Kant IAS (CEO, Niti Aayog) and Mr. Shashi Tharoor (Member of Parliament) in 2017.