Unravelling the crisis of democracy worldwide

Through the lens of an unbiased observer of democracies around the world. A democracy turns to be illiberal when its citizens elect a leader democratically to function authoritatively for the furtherance of their not-so-liberal interest. Mostly aimed at a target social or ethnic group existing in democracy much to the dislike of the majority stakeholders of the society

ishanee sharma partner v&k law6657115512400381033..jpg

The symptoms of an illiberal democracy may be visible as authoritative or corrupt political leaders, a weak judiciary and corrupt political parties. But on the contrary, liberal democracies are those where group and individual liberties prevail and private individuals and civil society work within an autonomous sphere, with no hindrances.

“The People v Democracy”, Yascha Mounk of Harvard University has reiterated the thought, time and again that liberalism and democracy are separable. There is a visible trend that Voters favour electing a government that would restrict the rights of a measly minority.

For example, Hungary, When communism collapsed in 1989, under successive governments, became fully democratic, and followed a liberal political course initially at a pace that was similar to other Western European nations. But it is uncanny how things can change.

In recent times, leader of the Fidesz party and Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, took up the decision of distancing his country from the liberal values that most EU nations share. He served his second consecutive term in office. In April 2010, he acquired power with an electoral victory which helped him to achieve two-thirds of a supermajority in the parliament; with the help of two handy enemies: the Muslim hordes and the liberal elite who wanted to let them in. Mr Orban built a fence that largely stopped the flow of refugees. But still, he continued to play up the threat. Together with the smaller Christian Democratic People’s Party, which served as a minor coalition partner, Fidesz secured 263 of the 386 seats and 52.7% of the national vote in the parliament.

Old checks were curtailed and the Constitution was rewritten by Orbán since then and he balances these with no concern for the objections of the opposition. Orbán did many other things as well—he lowered the retirement age of judges to facilitate the entry of his own appointees; he staffed independent institutions with his party supporters and purged the bureaucracy of non-loyalists; together with voting rights, he boosted nationalism by granting citizenship to ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring states; he nationalized private pensions; he attacked civil society organizations and often denounced them as foreign agents; and he also restricted media freedoms.

He drove his government to raid NGOs that received funds from Norway in early 2014; he even accused one group known as Okotars that they were channelling money to the members of an opposition party. During the recent times, Orbán made his government turn against the refugees and a law was passed by him, which threatens to shut down a university of international reputation; this university was established by the Hungarian-American liberal philanthropist George Soros.

A seemingly harmless inclination typically leads to the declination of democracy. It always starts with a crisis followed by voters backing a charismatic leader who promises to save them. Second, this leader finds potential threats and enemies. Third, he thwarts independent institutions that might cause hurdles in his way. Finally, he twists and bends the rules to make it harder for the voters to dislodge him. As the first three stages pan out, democracy manages to remain intact. But it begins to lose itself somewhere at the final stage.

Carl Schmitt, a pro-nazi political theorist gave the concept of Enemy of the Political. He made a very important distinction. Those not on our side, disagreeing with us are enemies. And for the survival of the state- enmity had priority over friendship: In doing so, Schmitt reduced all politics to war. And the irretrievability of the enmity lets it grow into a rivalry.

Now picking the right enemies and posing them as the ultimate threat to the majority stakeholders of the nation-state is crucial. They say that one should be careful while choosing friends and more so while picking enemies. And this can’t be more relevant than in the case of politics.

Written in the Summer 1993 issue of Foreign Affairs, Samuel Huntington’s ‘The Clash Of Civilisations’ still continues to be a though proving a piece of writing. Its emphasis on civilisational fault lines and torn nations appear to be much more relevant than ever. Huntington argued that post Cold War, political conflicts would largely have a cultural basis. And Islam due to its around the globe presence will rise up to be a common enemy of the west. The in-depth reading of the soul-stirring piece makes one realise how Islam and its followers have been made into the common and most convenient ‘enemy’.

Then they transform into a demolishing squad of the independent institutions which are said to serve as the pillars of democracy. But all in the garb of defending the identity of the voters, their essence, values and religion. Their campaign starts out with a positive agenda. By forging a cardinal relation with their vote bank on the basis of their cultural affinities and common interests. By favouring group rights over individual liberties, a legacy of the left.

The primary target being the Judiciary. Case in point; Poland and the Philippines. Where The ruling party passed a law in December forcing two-fifths of judges into retirement. And Mr Duterte forced out the chief justice of the Philippines, who had raised a voice against his arbitrary use of martial law.

The media comes in next. The Despot, in desperate attempts to create a favourable field, puts its own favourable man in a position to control the broadcast. Every information that doesn’t align with his or her version of that truth is accused of being a lie and the outlet of information which is not subservient to the chair is made to appear as a lie-monger. Quite unlike the autocrats of the past, they don’t ban the independent media. They burden them with taxes and fines in a way that the ownership of these agencies is transferred to the blue-eyed boys of the chair.

So was done by Mr Putin in Russia, and is now widely copied. In Turkey, the last big independent media group was sold to a friend of Mr Erdogan.

An influential person can emasculate every prominent institution with the help of courts, media and the armed forces. A textbook example of this is debarring the opposition, such as in the case of Turkey. Or altering the legislature (as in Venezuela, where the government staged a feint election on May 20th).

The United States of America once witnessed an uprising by the ruled, in order to promote democracy. But by banking on the grievances of the majority against a common enemy namely the migrants (a very good choice as they don’t even have voting rights) It now has a president who unabashedly claims to admire Vladimir Putin and declares to have a “special bond” with Kim Jong Un.

China, for instance, had grown out of the clutches of dictatorship after the death of Mao Zedong. But it seems to be falling in the same trap again by vesting all its power in Xi Jinping, whose term limits as president have been removed.

There is a long list of countries following the trend. The global righting uprising for the satiation of the populace, which is made to feel it has been wronged is a phenomenon very few remain untouched by.

Learning from history and from the mistakes of others is a trait of the intelligent. This attempt of mine is not directed at any person living or dead. It just is an objective record of what the eyes can see and the mind could gauge from around the world. Any resemblance to any person or event in our country is purely COINCIDENTAL.

(The author of this article is Advocate Ishanee Sharma)

Advertisements

The Shifting Paradigm in Real Estate Marketing

Being a high-investment category, marketing for real estate sector has primarily remained centred around creating reputation, brand value and trust in the market. With a shift in “how to reach” out to the customer base in the modern era, marketing now plays a much larger role, particularly in real estate sector. 

WhatsApp Image 2019-05-29 at 3.03.30 PM

While earlier, marketing used to be focussed on maximization of sales and profit as its primary objective, now-a-days it has a much bigger role – such as Brand Building, Customer Retention, CSR, etc. With the market flooded with lots of new and upcoming projects, it remains crucial to create a unique brand identity to stand out from the crowd. This is where marketing takes a giant leap in creating a competitive edge. 

Taking into consideration that sales and marketing go hand in hand in the Real Estate sector, it is important for both the marketing and sales teams to understand the specific processes of both these verticals. It is important to align both the marketing goals and sales goals, since both these verticals have one end goal and that is: to sell more, while maintaining the brand reputation.  

For this purpose, both sales and marketing rely on Customer Loyalty, Brand Identity and Brand Awareness, and here comes the joint role of advertisement. Without advertising and marketing campaigns, even the best-in-class project cannot be sold. Moreover, marketing also helps in building more loyal customers and in creating new markets.

In Real Estate sector, the brand should create an aura of uniqueness, dependability and trust. Hence marketing for this particular industry involves a lot of tools and techniques to highlight the best practices followed by a realty brand. 

The marketing tool in Real Estate sector normally employs – Print and Outdoors. 

The advent of internet has added a wide range of additional platforms for marketing like Web Sites, Blogs, Social Networking sites, Forums & Emailers. The brands are increasingly looking to boost their digital presence and to leverage upon their digital identity amid the emerging challenges of the changing consumer preferences in this highly competitive market To achieve this, an innovative marketing strategy is the only solution.

A regular, effective and frequent marketing campaign helps in repeat sales and in building a strong customer base, by promoting the brand favourably. Already, in the last couple of decades marketing in Real Estate sector has witnessed this shift from being focussed on mass selling to being more focussed on changing aspirations of the consumers. Obviously, the shift has taken place to meet the long term objectives of the companies, looking towards expanding their wings across various segments and increase their slice of the pie.

 

(The author of this article is Mr. Somit Madan, AGM-Marketing, Paras Buildtech)

MySTENO: India’s first Speech-To-Text Web App from Vakilsearch

Taking its technological edge in the legal arena to the next level, the leading legal tech, tax and compliance services company, Vakilsearch has launched ‘MySTENO’, India’s first speech-to-text web app for lawyers. With the aim to bring about refreshing ease, comfort and convenience in the busy lives of the lawyers, Vakilsearch has launched ‘MySTENO’ that can seamlessly convert a lawyer’s voice into text at a blisteringly fast pace.  

In MySTENO, it’s a matter of minutes what it takes hours to type at a typical speed. ‘MySTENO’, a hands-free typist that can seamlessly convert a lawyer’s voice into text simply types as you talk. Traditionally a 10-page document should take around 15-20 minutes to “MySTENO”, as opposed to 1-2 hours to type at typical speeds. One can also voice command punctuations i.e, when you say comma it specifically inserts a comma and when you say jump to the next line it starts a new paragraph. Moreover, the App also lets one share the drafted legal document to friends & colleagues in seconds. It quickly converts voice drafts to word, or PDF and gives the lawyers a 100% keyboard free experience.  With such state-of-the-art usability, MySTENO is all set to bring about a sizeable difference in the way legal documents are drafted and transcribed in the country. 

Mr. Hrishikesh Datar, CEO, Vakilsearch said, “Nobody else understands the technological gaps in legal sector better than ‘Vakilsearch’, which remains committed to harnessing technology to empower the entire legal ecosystem with one-of-a-kind digital revolution. In line with our commitment to organise the professional service industries in India, we have unveiled MySTENO-the virtual stenographer, meant exclusively to help the lawyers make legal drafting quicker than ever before. STENO will now join LIBRA- The Advocate’s App [Practice Management tool used by 20k+ lawyers] as a staple diet of every lawyer in India. It re-affirms our commitment to ‘Legal is now Simple’ for both lawyers and their clients.”

Ready to be accessed on: https://mysteno.io/virtualsteno, MySTENO comes with features like 100% keyboard free, type-as-you-talk, quick document drafting, punctuation command etc.

Worldwide Insurance Brokers unveils Cover360.in

Worldwide Insurance Brokers Ltd, one of the leading insurance brokers in India, has launched ‘Cover360.in’, a unique online insurance portal that offers a plethora of insurance services ranging from Health Insurance, Travel Insurance to Term Insurance, among others.  With its firm commitment of ‘insuring every moment of life’ the online insurance platform ‘Cover 360.in’ has emerged as an umbrella solution for availing a complete bouquet of insurance services.

cover360openfile (2)

As an integrated insurance solution provider, ‘Cover 360.in’ also renders advice to the customers and helps them in choosing the right product that exactly matches their requirements. In a nutshell, ‘Cover 360.in’ provides customised plans and premium in just a few seconds with hi-tech IT tools and keeps its customers updated on insurance matter via mails, blogs and other social media platforms, besides actively supporting them in emergencies by taking them through a smooth, hassle-free claim handling process.

While unveiling the exclusive online insurance portal ‘Cover 360.in’, Mr. Kishan Lal Agrawal, Director, Worldwide Insurance Brokers Ltd. said, “We are excited to launch ‘Cover 360.in’ which aims to offer unmatched insurance buying experience to the vast Indian population. Our mission is to act as a bridge between clients and insurance companies and help the customers in making informed decisions about their exact insurance requirements. Simultaneously we strive to ensure protection of the utmost interests of our valued customers and we protect them from being sold an inappropriate insurance policy.”

Mr. Kishan Lal Agrawal, Director, Worldwide Insurance Brokers Ltd.

‘Cover360.in’ addresses all customer pain points from buying a policy to the claim handling process. While insurance is a critical requirement for every individual, the experience of buying a right insurance policy still remains a cumbersome journey. As a ‘house of complete insurance solutions’, ‘Cover 360.in’ not only simplifies the entire process of insurance buying but it also acts as an effective tool of consumer awareness so that they can enforce their rights more effectively. 

The online platform ‘Cover 360.in’ boasts a wide range of facilities that include suggesting the best suitable health, travel, and term insurance policies for the customers as per their exact requirements. ‘Cover 360.in’ has various designated sections to enlighten the customers with the complete knowledge of different policies. For example, it provides comprehensive information on a wide range of Health Insurance policieswith the complete list of the network hospitals associated with them. It also facilitates the customers to store their medical records online. In a similar manner ‘Cover 360.in’ helps the customers in choosing the best term and travel insurance policies for their family. Beside these products they also provide all corporate insurance products as per their needs. 

Vigor Media Worldwide bags PR mandate for Vakilsearch

Vigor Media Worldwide has bagged the PR mandate from Vakilsearch, a one-stop solution for any business or entrepreneur looking for a lawyer, chartered accountant or company secretary. The contract comes as another acknowledgement of the distinctive PR and communications approach of Vigor Media Worldwide. The role of Vigor Media Worldwide will be to build a strategic communication framework for Vakilsearch and strengthen its unrivalled leadership positioning as one-click access to individuals & businesses for all their legal and professional needs.

Vigor Media Worldwide won the prestigious account after a multi-agency pitch followed by a competitive bidding process. The mandate for Vakilsearch will be handled by the Delhi-NCR office of Vigor Media Worldwide with the support from its proficient team along with its associates spanning across the country for greater visibility and strong positioning of brand ‘Vakilsearch’ among targeted segments. 

Vakilsearch is a technology-driven platform organising the professional services industry in India and its services cover all the legal, tax-related and regulatory requirements of businesses, such as incorporation, government registrations & filings, accounting, documentation and annual compliances. Vakilsearch also offers a wide range of services to individuals, such as property agreements and tax filing.

Vakilsearch
VAKILSEARCH

Mr. Hrishikesh Datar, CEO, Vakilsearch said, “Vakilsearch was looking for a competent team to partner with it in establishing a focused communication with a distinct approach to help companies and individuals navigate the legal, tax and regulatory regime in India. We found the required zeal and enthusiasm in Vigor Media Worldwide and we are delighted to bring them on board as our communication partner.”

Vigor Media Worldwide
Vigor Media Worldwide

Commenting on winning the PR mandate of Vakilsearch, Mr. Nikhil Singhal, Founder, Vigor Media Worldwide said, “We are truly honoured and delighted to be the strategic communication partner for Vakilsearch which has expanded its wings and catapulted itself into a hi-tech platform online that delivers the highest quality of financial, accounting and legal services.”

Vakilsearch is a completely self-serve platform online, where customers can seek advice, add their legal requirements to a cart and pay for it online. It takes pride in rapidly building a marketplace that will connect all Indian citizens to lawyers and other professionals in their vicinity, and an app to enable lawyers to manage their practice in a tech-savvy manner.

Vigor Media Worldwide has cross-sectoral expertise spanning across Real Estate, Education, Lifestyle, FMCG, Hospitality, Healthcare, Technology, Security, Consulting and a host of other segments of the economy. Its client portfolio includes top-of-the-line brands in the industry.

Ascott expands footprint in Gurugram with 90 unit Citadines Paras Square Gurugram

CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), announced that it has secured a contract to manage its first Citadines-branded serviced residence in Gurugram, Haryana. The contract was awarded by Gurugram-headquartered Paras Buildtech, a subsidiary of Paras Group. The 90-unit Citadines Paras Square Gurugram is expected to open in Q2 2020. Ascott currently operates two serviced residences in Chennai and one in Navi Mumbai.

IMG_0039

Citadines Paras Square Gurugram is located within Paras Square, a mixed-use development comprising over 100,000 square feet of retail space and the serviced residence tower. Citadines Paras Square Gurugram is strategically located off Golf Course Extension Road in Sector 63A, amidst the IT Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and premium residential projects. Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is only 40 minutes away, offering easy connectivity to business travellers coming to Gurugram. Citadines Paras Square Gurugram will comprise 90 spacious and modern studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units ranging from 45 Sqm to 65 Sqm in size. Residents will enjoy business, entertainment and recreational facilities along with Ascott’s world-renowned service excellence.

Mr. B.V. Bharadwaja, Ascott’s Country Head – India, said: “Gurugram is a significant IT-ITeS cluster and is considered as the business process management (BPM) capital of the world, employing 5% of the global BPM workforce [1]. In 2018, the hospitality industry in Gurugram also witnessed an increase across all three parametres – average daily rate (ADR), occupancy percentage and revenue per available room (REVPAR) [2], proving that there is an increasing demand for quality accommodation here. With the signing of Citadines Paras Square Gurugram, we will have two of our distinct serviced residence brands within 2 KM of each other, catering to both luxury and upscale segments.”

Mr Aman Nagar, Director, Paras Buildtech, said: “We are proud to be partnering with The Ascott Limited for the management of our second hospitality project. Ascott’s knowledge of the lodging market and its global reputation is consistent with our endeavor to develop quality, upscale projects that cater to global citizens.”

Maharashtra Government signs MoU with IIFL Home Finance Ltd.

IIFL Home Finance Ltd. (IIFL HFL), India’s leading housing finance company on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Government of Maharashtra. This MoUfocuses on extending the benefits of Credit Linked Subsidy Schemes (CLSS) under PMAY across state of Maharashtra to home buyers belonging to affordable housing segment.

Pic-IIFL Signs MoU with Maha Govt

The MoU was signed in the presence of Sanjay Kumar (Addn. Chief Secretary, Housing Deptt, Govt. of Maharashtra), Hemkumar Gopalakrishnan (Regional Manager, NHB), Monu Ratra(CEO,IIFL HFL), Ajay Jaiswal (IIFL HFL) and Sundeep Bhatia (IIFL HFL).Through this MoU, Housing Department of Government of Maharashtra will make provisions and facilitate permissions for IIFL HFL to educate customers and enlighten them about the benefits of PMAY. Under the agreed terms and conditions, IIFL HFL will be able to conduct on the spot counseling for home buyers visiting its branches, give presentations to defined audiences and proactively call potential customers tofacilitate home loans helping them avail CLSS subsidy benefits.

Monu Ratra, CEO, IIFL Home Finance Ltd. said “We are committed to support Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Housing for All by 2022’. We thank the Government of Maharashtra for giving us this opportunity to educate and enable customers in availing CLSS subsidy under PMAY. Witha network of over 10 HFC and over 150 NBFC branches located across the state, this MoU with the Government would allow us to facilitate benefits of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana among the affordable housing segment of home buyers”

IIFL HFL has been one of the leaders in CLSS scheme working towards financial inclusion with customized product such as ‘Swaraj Home Loan’. For its continued support in helping beneficiary families avail benefits of CLSS Subsidy under PMAY, IIFL HFL has twice received the award for ‘Best Performing PLI under Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for EWS/LIG under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana’ from Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

The company was recently in news for touching 23,500+ beneficiary family mark in CLSS subsidy distribution under PMAY. In the state of Maharashtra alone, IIFL HFL has approved home loans of Rs. 1000+ crore under PMAY (Urban) CLSS scheme. Till date the company has supported more than 6800 beneficiary families in the State to avail CLSS subsidy amounting more than Rs. 160 crores under PMAY.

Across India, till the month ended January 31, 2019, IIFL HFL has approved home loans of up to Rs. 3300+ crores under PMAY (Urban) CLSS scheme to beneficiary families belonging to EWS/LIG/MIG category. More than 23500+ beneficiaries have been benefited by the subsidy scheme providing Rs. 535+ crores as subsidy under PMAY. 

The average ticket size for loan amount disbursed to customers under this scheme is Rs. 14 lacs in case of EWS/LIG. IIFL HFL has made exceptional growth in terms of beneficiary numbers and CLSS subsidy disbursement under PMAY-Urban. Since the launch of the scheme in 2015, CLSS beneficiary numbers of IIFL HFL have grown from 65 in FY 2015-16 to 23,500+ till Jan ’31, 2019. 

Worldwide Insurance Brokers launches online platform Cover360.in for instant insurance coverage

Worldwide Insurance Brokers Ltd, one of the leading insurance brokers in India, has launched ‘Cover360.in’, a unique online insurance portal that offers a plethora of insurance services ranging from Health Insurance, Travel Insurance to Term Insurance, among others.  With its firm commitment of ‘insuring every moment of life’ the online insurance platform ‘Cover 360.in’ has emerged as an umbrella solution for availing a complete bouquet of insurance services.

Mr. Kishan Lal Agrawal, Director, Worldwide Insurance Brokers Ltd.

As an integrated insurance solution provider, ‘Cover 360.in’ also renders advice to the customers and helps them in choosing the right product that exactly matches their requirements. In a nutshell, ‘Cover 360.in’ provides customised plans and premium in just a few seconds with hi-tech IT tools and keeps its customers updated on insurance matter via mails, blogs and other social media platforms, besides actively supporting them in emergencies by taking them through a smooth, hassle-free claim handling process.

While unveiling the exclusive online insurance portal ‘Cover 360.in’, Mr. Kishan Lal Agrawal, Director, Worldwide Insurance Brokers Ltd. said, “We are excited to launch ‘Cover 360.in’ which aims to offer unmatched insurance buying experience to the vast Indian population. Our mission is to act as a bridge between clients and insurance companies and help the customers in making informed decisions about their exact insurance requirements. Simultaneously we strive to ensure protection of the utmost interests of our valued customers and we protect them from being sold an inappropriate insurance policy.”

‘Cover360.in’ addresses all customer pain points from buying a policy to the claim handling process. While insurance is a critical requirement for every individual, the experience of buying a right insurance policy still remains a cumbersome journey. As a ‘house of complete insurance solutions’, ‘Cover 360.in’ not only simplifies the entire process of insurance buying but it also acts as an effective tool of consumer awareness so that they can enforce their rights more effectively. 

The online platform ‘Cover 360.in’ boasts a wide range of facilities that include suggesting the best suitable health, travel, and term insurance policies for the customers as per their exact requirements. ‘Cover 360.in’ has various designated sections to enlighten the customers with the complete knowledge of different policies. For example, it provides comprehensive information on a wide range of Health Insurance policies with the complete list of the network hospitals associated with them. It also facilitates the customers to store their medical records online. In a similar manner ‘Cover 360.in’ helps the customers in choosing the best term and travel insurance policies for their family. Beside these products they also provide all corporate insurance products as per their needs. 

Halonix ushers in revolution with a new series of Futuristic Inverter Fans

Halonix Technologies Pvt. Ltd., one of the country’s most progressive and environment friendly lighting companies is all set to rock the world of innovation through a new series of futuristic fans including Inverter Fans with ten hours of back-up. Just after introducing its revolutionary inverter LED light, Halonix has now insured that Indian consumers are well equipped to handle powercuts. 

Mr. Rakesh Zutshi, Managing Director, Halonix Technologies Private Limited said, “We are bringing a unique range of inverter fans across the pedestal fans, table fans, wall fans and personal fans categories which provide a back-up of 10 hours. These fans are an integrated solution for power cuts as they also have an in-built LED light. Some of these also have a usb port to charge your mobiles as well as solar charging. ”

Major USPs of Halonix Inverter Fans:

  • Equipped with futuristic technology
  • Back up Time -10 hours
  • Integrated LED Light
  • High air delivery
  • All Function remote
  • USB Port (in some models)
  • Solar Charging (In some models)

Halonix has also launched a comprehensive range of fans across all categories – Ceiling, Pedestal, Wall, Table, Personal and Exhaust fans. Some of its revolutionary products include Morpheous -India’s first retractable blade chandelier fan, Cuboid – India’s first low ceiling fan without a pole, Two-in-one Autoshield exhaust fans, Plasma – Zero friction fans amongst others.

Honouring talent, lauding achievements at the Maharana Mewar Foundation Awards in Udaipur

Carrying forward its glorious tradition of honouring the service of permanent value rendered to society, Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF) successfully concluded the Maharana Mewar Foundation 37th Annual Awards (MMFAA) at The City Palace, Udaipur. Starting with the presentation of certificates to students, the ceremony was followed by the ritual when the awardees received awards from Dr. K. Kasturirangan, Chief Guest of the Ceremony and Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur, Chairman and Managing Trustee of Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, Udaipur.

Instituted in the year 1980-81 by Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar, the Maharana Mewar Foundation Annual Awards are one of the oldest award schemes in the country to be instituted by a non-profit organisation. It was conceptualised to honour college and school students of Udaipur who had excelled in their studies and gradually broadened the spectrum to felicitate international scholars, scientists, academicians, musicians/performers, social activists, environmentalists and people who have broken the mould and provided inspiration to the world around them.

“The Awardees are selected because they are role models in our society, and credible icons for youngsters,” said Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar, Chairman and Managing Trustee of the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation. Recognition from society adds more vigour and direction in the life of an achiever, however modest or celebrated he/she may be. The task of nation-building is incomplete without such achievers being acknowledged for their contribution to society. This contribution, please note, is of permanent nature. It lasts for generations. It provides a distinct identity to the Awardee and gives Foundations like ours a sense of immense accomplishment.”

These awards are annually organised by Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF) which is committed to nurturing centres of excellence in heritage management, fine arts, the performing arts, education, ecological management, philanthropy, spirituality and sports.Unique in having conceived and actualised the practices of ‘livingheritage’,the MMCF is sharing ancient legacies through broad-based and sustainable platforms of development within Rajasthan, in India and through global outreach programmes.

“Inspiration is the key word,”explained Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar,”when my respected father, His late Highness Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar was establishing the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation in 1969, he wanted it to serve as a temple of inspiration for future generations. He firmly believed that a nation could not be built without real-life inspiring role models. Character-building goes hand in hand with nation-building.”

Each of the Awards commemorates an iconic personality or name associated with the rich and glorious history of Mewar stretching back to 1400 years. Some of the notable awardees in the past years included writers-poets, performers and visionaries like Prof. Sir Angus Deaton, Prof. A P J Abdul Kalam, Dr. E. Shreedharan, Mr. Sunil Dutt, Mr. R. K. Laxman, Dr. Rahi Massom Raza Ms. Lata Mangeshkar, Ms. P T Usha and Mr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan, etc.

To name a few among many others, this year, Colonel James Tod Award was presented to Dr. Paul T. Craddock while Ms. Swati Chaturvedi won Haldighati Award. Ms. Geeta Seshamani and Mr. Kartick Satyanarayan were bestowed upon Maharana Udai Singh Awards. Dagar Gharana Award for this year went to Ustad Mohi Bahauddin Dagar and Mr. Suresh Wadekar won Hakim Khan Sur Award.