CNN-IBN is all set to announce the Indian of the Year on February 6 after two months of meticulous search, sifting through numerous names that matter in different fields and an elaborate selection process. The one man or woman will be selected from amongst 36 achievers drawn from six categories.
With India celebrating its 60th year of Independence, CNN-IBN decided to institute what is to be the highest, non-governmental, civilian award conferred on an individual. The annual CNN-IBN Indian of the Year award is aimed at providing both a national and international platform for recognising achievements over the past year across different walks of life.
The Award salutes the best and the most dynamic Indian icons across six main categories: Politics, Business, Entertainment, Sports, and Global Indian. The Award also seeks to honour those unknown Indians through its sixth category of Public Service, to honour achievers who aren’t popular faces.
To eliminate all bias, CNN-IBN adopted a multi-tiered approach of decision-making. A jury of five Padma awardees and other distinguished persons sifted through a list of names thrown up by the TV18 editorial team, and discussed the merits of each nominee. In the second stage, an Electoral College, comprising over 250 eminent citizens and ordinary Indians were asked to vote for their choice of the category winners and the Indian of the Year. With both carrying an equal weightage, winners were finally chosen for the six categories.
They are: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh (Politics); Jeev Milkha Singh (Sports); Ratan Tata (Business); Indra Nooyi (Global Indian); Rajkumar Hirani (Entertainment) and Arvind Kejriwal (Public Service). The five-member jury will finally award the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2006 to one amongst the six category winners, after detailed analysis of the achievements of each of them.
To add to the multitude of opinion and voices from across the nation, two panel discussions were also organised in Mumbai and Bangalore as part of the Award process. The first show, christened ‘Search for India’s Icons’, was held in Mumbai on January 17, 2007 prior to the announcement of the six category winners. Achievers like Shobhaa De, Milind Deora, Michael Ferriera, Uday Kotak, Prasoon Joshi and Flavia Agnes participated as members of the panel.
A second panel discussion, christened ‘The Final Countdown: The Search for the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2006’, was organised in Bangalore on January 30, 2007. This was discussed with panel comprising ace athlete Ashwini Nachappa, Infosys’ Mohandas Pai, adman Suhel Seth and south Indian movie star R Madhavan. Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, CNN-IBN and IBN 7, moderated both the panel discussions.
“CNN-IBN is very proud of instituting such a title and has made all efforts to make sure only the most deserving candidates are short listed and that entire selection process was completely transparent and reflected the opinions of the public as well as those who influence opinions.” Sardesai said.
“We feel it imperative to recognise and honour Indians that have demonstrated the spirit of ‘Whatever it Takes’ with accomplishment’s that have made the nation hold its head up with pride,” said B Sai Kumar, CEO, TV 18 Media.