A leading gastroenterologist, academics and several professionals across different fields are among the various Indian-origin achievers in the UK named in the Queen’s annual Birthday Honours’ list released today. Parveen June Kumar has been conferred the prestigious Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to medicine and medical education. The 74-year-old Professor of Medicine and Education, Bart’s and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary, University of London, is the co-editor and author of a revolutionary 1989 textbook, ‘Kumar and Clark’s Clinical Medicine’, which is credited with improvements in the education of medical students, doctors and nurses in training both at home and abroad.
Among the Indian-origin Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), include Aisha Kulwant Gill, Professor of Criminology, University of Roehampton, for services to tackling forced marriage, honour crimes and violence against women. “Her contribution to effecting social change is as a passionate advocate for women suffering gender based violence, as a grassroots campaigner, an expert adviser on policy interventions and as a highly respected academic,” reads Gill’s citation.
Shamit Saggar, Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, University of Essex, has also been conferred a CBE for services to social science and public policy. The UK Cabinet Office said to mark the centenary year of the honours, this year’s awards are the most diverse ever with 10 per cent of the successful candidates from black and minority ethnic (BAME) background, the highest ever. In total 1,109 people have received honours, which are bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II to mark her official birthday celebrations in the second week of June.
Some of the high-profile recipients this year include ex-Beatle band member Sir Paul McCartney and Harry Potter author J K Rowling, who have been conferred the highest- ranking honour of Members of the Order of the Companions of Honour, which entitles them to add CH after their name. Among the other Indian-origin professionals recognised this year include Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBEs) conferred upon are Sital Singh Dhillon, Head of Law and Criminology, Sheffield Hallam University, for services to higher education; Dr Kamaljit Kaur Hothi, Head of Colleague Volunteering and Group Fundraising, Lloyds Banking Group, for services to diversity in the banking sector.
Arvind Michael Kapur, Chairman, National Space Centre and Founder-Director, Signum Corporate Communications Ltd, for services to science, technology, business and enterprise; Chandrakant Kataria, Group Chief Executive, East Midlands Housing Group, for services to housing in the East Midlands; and Dr Nikesh Kotecha, CEO, Morningside Pharmaceuticals, for services to entrepreneurship, innovation in pharmaceutical services and philanthropy are among other Indian-origin professionals recognised for their contribution.
The other recipients of an OBE include Ramesh Dulichandbhai Mehta, President of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), for services to the NHS. “I am grateful for such a recognition and share the achievement with all my colleagues, friends and family members who have supported me for the years,” said Dr Mehta, a prominent campaigner for Indian-origin doctors in the UK.
The others made OBE are Harinder Singh Pattar, headteacher, The Heathland School, London, for services to education; Nardeep Sharma, CEO, The Thrive Partnership Academy Trust, for services to education; Rakesh Sharma, Chief Executive, Ultra Electonics, for services to defence capability; Mahendra Pratap Singh Varma, for services to cardiology in Northern Ireland; and Sandeep Singh Virdee, founder-director, Darbar Arts Culture and Heritage Trust, for services to the promotion of Indian musical heritage in the UK.
This year’s Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBEs) include an Indian as part of the overseas list – Annabel Mehta, president of non-governmental organisation Apnalaya, for services to the community and under-privileged in Mumbai. The UK-based MBEs include Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry, for services to the Asian community in the UK; Vilasgauri Ratilal Dhanani, for voluntary and charitable services; Pamal Jeet Hayre, for public service; Surinder Singh Jandu, for services to community cohesion; Dr Nikita Kanani, for services to primary care.
The other MBEs include Dr Serbjit Kaur, for services to dentistry; Vikas Kumar, for services to the arts and culture; Pritpal Singh Nagi, for services to business and charity in Staffordshire; Nitin Palan, for services to interfaith relations; Anjna Morarji Patel, for services to the parking profession; Sazeda Patel, for services to the community in Blackburn; Dr Bharti Rajput, for services to podiatry and the economy in Dundee.
Tejinder Kumar Sharma, for services to Hindi Literature and to Community Cohesion in London; Dr Shobba Srivastava, for voluntary service to community cohesion in North East England; and Deepak Verma, for services to the arts, also receive an MBE.
The Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) completes the 2017 honours list with Bula Chakravarty-Agbo, for services to the arts; Uma Nalayini Fernandes, for voluntary service to community healthcare in Middlesex; Suraj Bhan Khandelwal, for services to business and the community in Leicester; Vinod Mathuradas Kotecha, for services to the Asian community; and Mohinder Singh Sangha, for services to the community in Leicester.
The UK’s Honours and Appointments Secretariat receive around 10,000 enquiries from members of the public each year, resulting in around 3,000 nominations for the honours every year. In addition to nominations from the public, government departments ask schools, hospitals, local authorities and similar organisations for suggestions of potential candidates.
The Queen’s official birthday celebrations will be marked by the traditional Trooping of the Colour parade near Buckingham Palace this weekend.