Boston’s S.P. Kothari and Three Other Americans Get Padma Shri; Padm Bhushan Goes to Indian American Jagdish Sheth

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S. P. Kothari Photo: Twitter)

BOSTON—Bostonian S.P. Kothari, the Gordon Y. Billard Professor of Management and former deputy dean at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, will receive India’s prestigious Padma Shri award for 2020.  Last year, Prof. Kothari was appointed chief economist and director of the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Along with Prof. Kothari, three other Americans will receive this award: Prasanta Kumar Pattanaik, emeritus professor at the Department of Economics at the University of California; Robert Thurman, Buddhist author and academic who has written, edited, and translated several books on Tibetan Buddhism; and Romesh Tekchand Wadhwani, chairman and CEO of Symphony Technology Group.

Jagdish Sheth, the Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing at the Goizueta Business School of Emory University, will receive Padm Bhushan award.

The Padma Awards are given in three categories — Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri — in various fields of activities like art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service.  Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service, Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of high order and Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field.

A total of 14 foreigners, majority of them of the Indian origin, including Mauritian politician Anerood Jugnauth, have been named for the Padma Awards on the eve of 71st Republic Day for 2020.

Jugnauth has been named for Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, in the field of public affairs. Jugnauth, who served as the President and the Prime Minister of Mauritius, was a central figure in the Mauritian politics in the 1980s and 1990s.

Twelve foreigners have been named for Padma Shri. It included late Indra Dassanayake, a well-known Hindi literary personality who taught Hindi at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. Dassanayake strived for emergence of Hindi as a world language.

Another awardee is Barry Strachan Gardiner, British Labour Party leader who has served as Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade since 2016.

Another notable foreign personality in the list is late Tetsu Nakamura for his social work in Afghanistan. A Japanese physician and honorary Afghan, Nakamura headed the Peace Japan Medical Services (PMS). Devoted to the Kunar river canal projects in eastern Afghanistan, he was credited for transforming the desert of Gamberi, on the outskirts of Jalalabad, into a lush forest and wheat farmlands. He also helped build two hospitals and two mosques.

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