New Delhi: It's that time of the year again when CNN-IBN honours the contribution of some of the most iconic role models of brand India. The seventh edition of the Indian of the Year awards - one of the biggest and most credible awards in Indian media - will recognize those Indians whose contribution to the country in the calendar year 2012 strengthened the foundation of the Indian society. The CNN-IBN Indian of the Year awards will be presented in five categories - Politics, Sports, Entertainment, Business and Public Service - at a ceremony in New Delhi on December 12.
The six nominees this year in politics are: Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken for making consistent efforts to reform Indian sports; Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav for scripting his party's stunning win in India's most politically critical state; Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh for being one of the most dynamic and no-nonsense ministers in UPA-II; Goa CM Manohar Parrikar for being the architect of BJP's win in the state; Maharashtra CM Prithiviraj Chavan for shoring up some of his party's image through personal probity; and Punjab CM Sukhbir Singh Badal for successfully defying a four decade anti-incumbency tradition in the state.
The Sports category of the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year awards is considered extremely prestigious. The nominees in this category this year are: Billiards ace Pankaj Advani for claiming eight world titles at just 27 years of age; shuttler Saina Nehwal for winning India's first Olympic medal in badminton and four titles on the circuit that saw her regain her No 3 world ranking; wrestler Sushil Kumar for being the first Indian individual athlete to win back-to-back medals at the Olympic Games; shooter Vijay Kumar for decimating some big names on his way to winning a silver at the London Olympics; cricketer Virat Kohli for cementing his status as the next big thing of Indian cricket and finally, chess legend Viswanathan Anand for defending his title for the third time in a row and becoming the King of the World yet again.
Entertainment is another keenly-watched category and this year has some of the best performers of 2012 as the nominees: actor Aamir Khan and Team Satyamev Jayate for successfully using TV as a medium for social change; actor Irrfan Khan for continuing to make a splash both in domestic as well as international cinema; actor Ranbir Kapoor for his endearing performance in 'Barfi', selected as India's entry to the Oscars; the evergreen Sridevi for charming her way back into the audience's hearts with 'English Vinglish', filmmaker SS Rajamouli for delivering a hit with a housefly in his innovative blockbuster 'Eega'; and finally, starlet Vidya Balan for proving that heroine-oriented films not only work in Bollywood but can be super hits too.
The other nominees are no less illustrious. In the Business category, they include Chanda Kochhar (ICICI), N Chandrasekaran (TCS), Nitin Paranjpe (HUL), Rahul Bhatia (Indigo), Rajiv Bajaj (Bajaj Auto) and Yusuf Hamied (Cipla). The Public Service nominees include IAS officer Armstrong Pame, activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal and his India Against Corruption, social activists Baba Adhav and Aruna Roy (Pension Parishad), the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), healthcare legend Dr Devi Shetty and noted ecologist Madhav Gadgil.
Instituted in 2006, CNN-IBN Indian of the Year has been the benchmark for credibility and excellence in media awards. The awards are held in high regard for precision, providing complete information about the process of nomination and selection of the final winners. The selection adheres to a unique and transparent four-tier process that includes nominations from the IBN Editorial Board, authorised by the Jury, and the voting by the Electoral College and the citizens of the country. Over the years, the recipients of this prestigious award have included PM Manmohan Singh (2006), E Sreedharan (2007), G Madhavan Nair (2008), A R Rahman (2009), Bihar CM Nitish Kumar (2010), and Anna Hazare and team (2011). Watch the live telecast of the event tonight from 9 pm to 11 pm only on CNN-IBN.