NDTV Indian of the Year Awards for 2008 will be given out on January 21 in New Delhi. The awards were set up in 2005 by NDTV to recognise exemplary contributions by individuals in fields such as politics, cinema, sports, business, art and culture and also unsung heroes.
In an official communiqué, Prannoy Roy, chairperson, NDTV, says, "The year 2008 witnessed several defining moments, such as our first ever individual Olympic gold, the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Chandrayaan mission. With the good, we have experienced the bad, too, in the form of the Mumbai attacks."
Roy adds, "Sifting the good from the bad, we find that a common thread runs through all such events. It is an association, a connection of leaders, public heroes and visionaries. NDTV Awards is a platform to salute these people for their outstanding contribution in making India what it is today."
The awards will be given away in six categories. In the Politics category, the nominees are Dr Manmohan Singh, LK Advani, Mayawati, Sheila Dixit and Shivraj Chauhan. In Cinema, heavyweights such as Aamir Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Prasoon Joshi, Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif are vying for the award.
The nominees in the Sports category are Abhinav Bindra, Vishwanathan Anand, MS Dhoni, Saina Nehwal, Vijender Singh and Jeev Milkha Singh. The contenders in the Business category are Deepak Parekh, Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani and KV Kamath. Eminent names such as MF Husain, Kiran Seth, Subodh Gupta and Arvind Adiga feature in the Arts and Culture category.
The nominees for the Unsung Heroes category are G Madhavan Nair and the ISRO team, Jean Dreze, Prakash and Nandakini Amte.
A rigorous, multilayered process is in place to choose the winners. The nomination process is spearheaded by the editorial board of NDTV. After shortlisting the nominees, the public is asked to vote for their heroes through SMS and on the website.
A jury comprising distinguished members of various fields also participate in the selection process. To ensure the fairness and integrity of the awards, Ernst and Young will validate the entire judging process.
Last year's winners included Dr Manmohan Singh, Mukesh Ambani, Rajnikanth and the Chak De! India team.
The NDTV Indian of the Year Awards 2008 is being supported by the presenting sponsor, LIC, and the associate sponsor, Hewlett-Packard.