Rajyotsava awards for 162

Rajyotsava awards for 162

3,500 were in the running; those who lobbied for the award were not selected

 The awards were not presented last year in the light of the devastation that rain and floods wreaked in north Karnataka, but with no such disaster marking the year, the government went overboard in announcing a jumbo list.

Though not valued, the award is coveted, for it carries Rs one lakh in cash, a 20-gm gold medallion and accords the awardee priority in the allotment of house sites by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). The awards, costing the exchequer Rs 2.26 crore will be given to awardees selected from 25 different fields. In 2008, when the awards were given away the last time, the list had 92 awardees.

The excessively long list is not the first, however. The Dharam Singh government had chosen 176 persons for the award, while the S Bangarappa regime had chosen 175 awardees.

But at the time the cash component was Rs 10,000, which was increased to Rs one lakh in 2008.

Prominent among the awardees are the medallists in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, Ashwini Akkunji, Ashwini Ponnappa and Vikas Gowda; writers K V Narayan and Siddalinga Pattanashetty, Environmentalist Ullas Karanth, Sociologist Fr Ambrose Pinto and Kris Gopalakrishnan, CEO of Infosys, although many of the names are not well known. The awards will be presented at a function to be held at Ravindra Kalakshetra in Bangalore on Monday.

Kannada and Culture minister Govind Karjol said the  19-member selection committee considered 3,500 applications, but 60 per cent of the awardees selected had not lobbied for themselves. The minister’s comment indicates the intense lobbying that has become a feature of the award.

Dampening the hopes of those who missed the bus, the minister said that there would not be post facto entries to the awardees’ list.

The awardees

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