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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

TOI Social Impact Awards: They battled the odds to even the chances

Source: The Times of India

"I have some questions before we begin. Can we all turn to page 140 of the dossier provided to the jury?" These words, spoken by National Advisory Council member and Rajya Sabha MP Anu Aga, and received with approving nods by the other jury members, immediately made one thing clear. The jury had done its homework, wading through 300 pages of expert assessments, field reports and background information on the 41 candidates shortlisted for the second Times of India Social Impact Awards in association with JP Morgan.


Even more impressive than the diligence of the jury, however, was the vast range of experience and encyclopaedic knowledge each member brought to bear on the discussions. In the case of virtually every candidate, at least one jury member was either personally acquainted with their work or had heard about them, and could hold forth with a degree of authority. 

The very first choice the jury made was of its chairman. UIDAI head Nandan Nilekani nominated Naresh Chandra, a suggestion unanimously endorsed by the other five jury members present in the room, and HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, who participated in the three-hour meeting via video-link from Mumbai. It proved to be an inspired choice. The seasoned super-bureaucrat, a former Cabinet secretary, governor and ambassador to the US, did a great job of evolving a consensus among a group of formidable individuals who hold strong opinions and express them passionately. 

Rajya Sabha MP Anu Aga, and received with approving nods by the other jury members, immediately made one thing clear. The jury had done its homework, wading through 300 pages of expert assessments, field reports and background information on the 41 candidates shortlisted for the second Times of India Social Impact Awards in association with JP Morgan. 

The first category, for corporates in the Health sector, was discussed for almost half an hour before the jury settled on Ziqitza Health Care, which operates an ambulance service that is accessible to all sections of society. Ziqitza runs over 860 ambulances and has transported 1.8 million people. However, the panel raised a question that had sprung up even last year: should corporates that are commercially active in a sector be considered for the awards? 

 

For the complete article, click here...
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